NCAN is here to improve lives. Below are examples showing how our member agencies achieve this.

Mrs B, via Carers Matter & Age UK Norwich

Age UK Norwich received a request to help a client apply to Friends of the Elderly for a grant to buy a tablet. The client wasn’t a carer and so didn’t fit the Carers Matter Norfolk remit.

The adviser contacted Mrs B to discuss the situation further. She was 68 and lived alone. Unfortunately, Friends of the Elderly were not accepting grant applications at that point due to Covid-19. Their adviser carried out a benefit check in order to see if it would be possible to maximise Mrs B’s income and found that she was likely to be entitled to lower rate Attendance Allowance. She walked with a stroller, had osteoarthritis in the hips, needed a hip replacement, had arthritis in her knees and had difficulty dressing and washing.

Their adviser looked at other social options for when the lockdown ends, which Mrs B was keen to explore although she didn’t want a telephone befriender. They researched to see whether there were other charity funds that could be applied for. They found some other suitable options and will be helping her to make a claim for financial support to buy a simple tablet and then the next stage will be to put her in touch with some additional IT support so that she can become more confident in using the tablet.

The AA claim was successful, and Mrs B was awarded £59.70 a week. This in turn meant she became eligible for the Severe Disability Premium of £66.95 being added to her pension credit. So, in total she received an extra £126.65 a week.

Ms Y, via ArtatWork

ArtatWork lead arts sessions for women with mental health issues. They got in touch with NCAN because they were keen to find out how they could link more with other organisations and support. Their groups are getting busier and busier. A woman who attends their art sessions needed advice about her PIP tribunal so they referred her to Norfolk Community Law Service. The client is non-verbal and has severe anxiety, so Holly, at ArtatWork, was able to sit with her and they could type in the referral information together.

“Being part of the Referral System is really useful for ArtatWork because it demonstrates they are working in partnership with other agencies and can connect their vulnerable service-users with additional advice and support if needed.” – Holly, ArtatWork

Ms A, via Norfolk Citizens Advice (NCA):

Ms A was a full-time worker, single parent to a 17-year-old son and had been previously perfectly healthy until she contracted Covid-19 in early 2020. Her health deteriorated rapidly, and she could not return to full-time work.

An appointment was made with Norfolk Citizens Advice to gather background information to address benefits, debt and support for the family unit as the 17-year-old son was now the primary carer.

Ms A was eventually diagnosed with Long term Covid/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

When needing to fill in an application form for PIP benefit Ms A felt safe working with Norfolk Citizens Advice in a Covid-safe meeting point that NCA had arranged for them to meet in.

Norfolk Citizens Advice has now been supporting Ms A and her son with benefits application, debts, employment support and more.