The Hyndburn Advice Network is celebrating the success of partner agencies working together to help Clients more quickly.
We commissioned the Foundation for Social Investment to assess the impact of the network and their research showed that people believe that the organisations coming together is at the very core of what community means and strengthens the idea of community within Hyndburn. People are able to freely go to any of the services and feel they are part of somewhere. The organisations are able to help more people as partners in the HAN. Hyndburn didn’t have a network previously and the partners knew the benefits of working in partnership as they had seen the benefits this had provided in other regions.
The most important outcome for the partnership as a whole and the partners individually is that the clients they see get the best possible advice and information which leads to positive outcomes for them.
- “An increase in the confidence to refer and the quality of referrals”
- 97% of Clients believe the advice services are ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ to access
- 74% of staff and volunteers surveyed said membership of HAN had increased their knowledge of other organisations ‘a great deal’ or ‘a lot’
- Over 1500 training hours have been delivered by the partnership. 100% of delegates surveyed said their understanding of the subject had increased
- 98% of clients rated the service they received as ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’.
- Advice increases knowledge and promotes more choice. – “I don’t think I would be here without them.” “They saved my life”
The benefits from joining the partnership were many and varied. It has enabled the partners to provide a fuller service to ensure that people can get the help that they need. When asked recently the organisations involved saw the main benefits as:
- More appropriate referrals between partners
- Shared knowledge of services
- Access to reputable advice resources
- Central source of information in the website
- Reduced training costs
- Greater co-operation between services ensuring quicker and more effective positive outcomes for clients
The qualitative research found a perception that clients knew about the partnership and thought it was important that they communicate with each other as all the services have “become one”. The clients we spoke to felt that they were able to trust the organisations more as they work together. They were all more aware of the services which were available to help them. We were told by one client that before advice was given, they were in a vicious cycle and that they couldn’t have “gone on like that”.
Ultimately these combine to lead to better client outcomes as evidenced in the research.
Kerry Molineux, a Borough Councillor for Overton said:
“I think knowing where to turn and who to contact is a vital part of getting the best results…
In Hyndburn it has been very disjointed and disconnected. We’ve got lots of excellent advice giving but getting people to ask for help without the fear that they will be bounced around has been difficult.
[If the service was removed] I think it would be catastrophic. Hyndburn is a massively deprived area and free advice giving services are vital. People would be made homeless, go hungry. I think rates of mental health issues would increase leading to a downturn in the community.
The joined up working, to me, has been the biggest achievement and is the largest strength of the partnership as well as offering the public a one stop contact point for the advice services in Hyndburn.”