• CAH

Inside CAH: How the community is shaping our service

A blog written by Dean Wigzell, Project Lead of our Crutch Haringey Project. Dean and his team have been working closely with members of the community to design new practical services which compliment our core advice offering. In my role as Project Lead of the Crutch Haringey project I’ve been in a very fortunate professional position, not only have I been able to work closely with local people requesting support from the project but I have also been able to work alongside members of the community who are volunteering to support that community.

The Crutch project was built on the foundation of co-production and beneficiary voice, methodology widely being used in the voluntary sector to ensure that the correct people are being listened to, those most impacted by the issues projects are seeking to address.

Over the last four years we have worked alongside a number of volunteers, across a number of settings, who have been directly impacted by the issues caused by financial hardship and it has been that experience that we want to translate into vital resources as a way of ensuring future successes of service delivery in the borough.

As the Crutch project comes to an end, we have worked closely with some of those volunteers to design new services which can complement the general advice offer Citizens Advice Haringey makes whilst continuing to provide vital practical support to people in crisis.

With the added challenges now being faced across the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been vital that we utilise that experience to be as responsive as possible to the increasing number of difficulties being faced in Haringey.

The advice provided by Citizens Advice Haringey advisers is delivered to give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward - whoever they are, and whatever their problem. However , our close working with local community members helped us to realise that sometimes individuals face more pressing needs, which if not addressed can become all-consuming and prevent any steps forward from being taken.

That’s why we have designed our Crisis Navigation Service, utilising our volunteer’s knowledge of local support networks available and the issues being faced across our community, coupled with the formal training and partnerships the bureau offers. The service acts as a point of contact for those struggling to meet the basic requirements to lead a sustainable life, whether that is access to food, clothing, support with additional needs, skills or training our service aims to be able to outline the options available to address each need as soon as possible.

Please Note: The service is currently being offered remotely

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