News

Business Durham Info for Employers and Businesses

For COVID-19 related information and guidance for employers and businesses, please visit the Business Durham Website CO-VID 19 page. by clicking the link.

Citizens Advice County Durham Announcement

In these extraordinary times we have done our very best to ensure that we can continue to provide our advice services. All arrangements are now in place and Citizens Advice are in a position to provide the following update:

1) Advice services continue via digital channels only (webchat/telephone)

2) All CACD staff across all projects are now working from home.

3) We are trying to identify resources to enable volunteers to do home working. Existing IT resource does not currently allow for this.

3) General advice can be accessed via our Adviceline service (Monday to Friday 10:00 - 16:00) We will endeavour to make this service available 9.00 -17.00 Tel: 0300 330 9027

4) Debt advice can be accessed via our specialist telephone service 0300 323 2000 (Monday to Friday 09:00 - 13:00)

5) Advice on making a New Claim for Universal Credit (Help to Claim) is available via Freephone on 0800 144 8 444 (Mon-Fri 08:00 - 18:00) or via webchat https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ (08:00 - 18:00)

6) CoronaVirus FAQs will soon be accessible from our website - https://www.citizensadvicecd.org.uk/

7) We are accepting enquiries via Facebook, but please be aware we can only provide very generic responses via this channel.

8) Our DurhamWorks and DurhamROAD projects will continue to support existing participants. If new learners want to engage, they should do so via https://durhamworks.info/

If you have any questions about our services during the Coronavirus crisis please don’t hesitate to contact us.

DWP Updates Linked to COVID-19

DWP Updates….

Recent Press Releases – https://intranet.dwp.gov.uk/page/coronavirus-lines-take

  • Claimants are asked to apply online as job centres limit access

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/claimants-are-asked-to-apply-online-as-jobcentres-limit-access?utm_source=0b62277d-0c8b-401d-a8cd-e22745cdbd9f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

  • Coronavirus update - benefit reviews and reassessments suspended

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-update-benefit-reviews-and-reassessments-suspended?utm_source=f383f421-fe4d-42e5-82fd-dae352eec8b4&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Messages to Partners – sign up to Touchbase

Please encourage partners (local, regional and national) to sign up to Touchbase so they can get updates on DWP announcements – there is a link to subscribe at the top of the page - 

http://news.dwp.gov.uk/dwplz/lz.aspx?p1=MQsDU1NjQ5MlM2OTA0OjNCNDJBOEZCRTJDOUJEOTc1ODQ0RTRCRDNDNzk4QUNF-&CC=&p=0

Please also encourage them to use the following webpages for information – they are constantly being updated –

https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses?utm_source=37472ed5-c0b4-4625-8801-549259dc908d&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Key websites for employers

The websites are being updated regularly so would encourage employers to check the pages regularly -      

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

Foodbank Updates

Durham Foodbank Update

Please use the link below to find out more about the current Durham Foodbank provision (red voucher still required for referral)

www.durham.foodbank.org.uk/locations

Free School Meals Update

Schools will continue to provide free school meals support to eligible pupils, and this may be as a hot or cold meal in-school (for those children who are from the groups still attending school) or as a meal or food parcel delivered to or collected by a family member. Some schools have arranged to replace a meal with, for instance, a supermarket voucher that can be exchanged for the child’s meal.

Schools will have advised parents of how they plan to provide school meals to eligible pupils, or to arrange an equivalent such as a voucher. If a parent is in any doubt about this, or how they should collect or receive their child’s meal, they should contact the school.  If anyone is asked to collect a meal from school, they should observe all guidance about social distancing.

We are awaiting further guidance from the government about a possible national voucher system, but in the meantime we are confident, despite the challenges of the current situation, that schools are doing everything possible for all eligible children to access the meals to which they are entitled.

The link to the government’s guidance on free school meals is:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools