Monday, 17 October 2011

Advice Newsletter April 2011: advice and legal services

 Housing advice helpline

Find a Mediation Service

Acas Helpline

Call our Helpline for FREE support and advice

Whether you are an employer, employee or representative, you can call the national Acas helpline for free and impartial advice. Simply get in touch and we'll provide you with clear and confidential guidance about any kind of dispute or query that you have about relationship issues within the workplace. You may want to know about employment rights and rules, best practice or you may need advice about a dispute. Whatever it is, just give us a call, our team are on hand to respond within the hours below.

Helpline numbers

Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-1pm: 08457 47 47 47
Helping you get through life
Whether you're concerned about yourself or a loved one, these helplines can offer expert advice.

Your rights at work

If you have a long-term health condition, it’s usually a good idea to tell your employer. You're not alone. One-in-six people of working age has a long-term condition or disability. Continuing to work will help your confidence and is an important way of keeping life going as normally as possible.

Jobs and Skills search

Discipline and grievances at work

This guide provides good practice advice for dealing with discipline and grievances in the workplace. It complements the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. Extracts from the Code of Practice are reproduced in shaded boxes accompanied by further practical advice and guidance. and grivances at work

Adult learning and skills

If you need advice, please try the following:

Community Legal Advice (formerly Community Legal Service Direct) is the website of the Community Legal Service in England and Wales. It contains a directory of solicitors firms and advice organisations holding the CLS Quality Mark, including those providing specialist help under the legal aid scheme to people who qualify financially for such help.

Advicenow is run by ASA and provides information on the law in England and Wales. Advicenow also contains the Community Legal Advice directory of solicitors firms and advice organisations.

ADRnow provides independent information about alternative dispute resolution in the UK, including mediation and ombudsman schemes.

Most of our have websites containing directories of their own member organisations.

Solicitors Online is the Law Society's directory of solicitors firms in England and Wales.

The Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission website contains a directory of solicitors firms in Northern Ireland.

The Law Society of Scotland website contains a directory of solicitors firms in Scotland


This page contains details of other organisations concerned with the provision of advice and legal services.

Civil Justice Council

Community Legal Advice

Constitutional Affairs Committee

Court Service

Ministry of Justice

Directgov (the gateway to government and public services)

Legal Services Commission

Northern Ireland Court Service

Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission

Scottish Court Service

Scottish Legal Aid Board

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Legal Profession

Bar Council (England & Wales)

Bar Council of Northern Ireland

Faculty of Advocates (Scottish Bar)

Institute of Legal Executives

Law Society (England & Wales)

Law Society of Northern Ireland

Law Society of Scotland

Management and Development

Charities Aid Foundation

Directory of Social Change

Inclusive Quality Project

National Council for Voluntary Organisations

National Occupational Standards for Legal Advice

Quality Development Initiative

Practitioners' groups

Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Employment Lawyers Association

Housing Law Practitioners' Association

Immigration Law Practitioners' Association

Institute of Advisers

Legal Aid Practitioners Group

Money Advice Association

Solicitors Family Law Association

UK Environmental Law Association

Regulation of Legal Services (see also Legal Profession)

Legal Services Ombudsman (England and Wales)

Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman

Cardiff Law School

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Legal Services Research Centre

University College London - Faculty of Laws

Other Useful Links

Charity helping families deal with drug and alcohol addiction
020 7553 7640

Charity advising on Alternative Dispute Resolution as an alternative to the courts X
020 7398 1470 – (Advice Services Alliance)

Advice UK
Charity with over 1000 members offering a range of advice services
020 7407 4070

Age Concern
Charity providing information and support for older people
0800 00 99 66

Association of Civil Enforcement Agencies
An independent association promoting standards in the industry of civil enforcement
01924 350 090

British Bankers Association
Organisation promoting the voice of the banking industry in the UK
020 7216 8800

British & Irish Ombudsman Association (BIOA)
Organisation listing complaint-handling bodies that help complainants
020 8894 9272

Building Societies Association
The trade association of building societies in the UK
020 7437 0655

Business Debtline
Charity providing debt advice specifically for UK businesses
0800 197 6026

Call Credit
UK credit reference agency
0870 060 1414

Confidential advice and support for children – a service run by the charity NSPCC
0800 1111

Child Support Agency (CSA)
Government organisations responsible for collecting and distributing child maintenance payments
0845 7133 133

Child Trust Fund (CTF)
Savings and investment account for children funded by the Government
0845 302 1470

Community Legal Advice
Legal advice and information about legal aid run by the Government’s Legal Services Commission
0845 3454 345

Consumer Credit Association’s Website
Organisation that represents businesses within the home credit industry
01244 312 044

Consumer Credit Trade Association
Organisation that represents business throughout the consumer credit industry
0845 257 1166

Consumer Council for Water
Organisation supporting water and sewerage consumers in England and Wales
0845 039 2837

Consumer Direct
Government run service providing consumer advice and information on consumer rights
0845 404 0506

Consumer Focus
Statutory organisation campaigning for a fair deal for English, Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish consumers
020 7799 7900

Council of Mortgage Lenders
Organisation working with the mortgage industry and government to work on policy from arrears and possessions to valuation issues
0845 373 6771

Credit Services Association
Organisation representing those companies responsible for collecting unpaid credit
0191 286 5656

Cruse Bereavement Care
Charity promoting the well-being of bereaved people
0844 477 9400

DAAS online
Online money advice resource

Debtology Org UK
Free debt advice mobile application

Dial UK
Charity with a network of over 120 local disability information and advice services
01302 310 123

Government website giving access to information about public services
0800 88 22 00

Energy Ombudsman
Service helping resolve disagreements between energy companies and domestic and small business customers
0845 055 0760

Enforcement Services Association
Organisation that promotes ethical and professional standards for bailiffs
0117 907 4771

Equality & Human Rights Commission
Works to remove discrimination and protect human rights in the UK
0845 604 6610

UK credit reference agency
0870 010 0583

UK credit reference agency
0870 241 6212

Financial Ombudsman
Service helping resolve disagreements between financial service providers and consumers
0845 080 1800

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
UK’s statutory fund of last resort protecting customers financially against the inability of authorised financial firms to pay claims against them
020 7892 7300

Gamblers Anonymous
Charity offering support, advice and meetings for compulsive gamblers
020 7384 3040

Charity providing support, information and advice for those with a gambling problem
0845 600 0133

Charity supporting single parent families in partnership with The National Council for One Parent Families
0800 018 5026

Help the Aged
International charity aiming to free older people from poverty, isolation and neglect
0808 800 6565

Jobcentre Plus
Government department providing the unemployed with job hunting and benefits advice
0845 606 2626

HM Revenue & Customs
Advice on Tax, Tax Credits, Child Benefit
0845 302 1444 – Child Benefit
0845 300 3900 – Tax Credits

Law Society
Organisation representing solicitors in England and Wales
020 7242 1222

Local Government Ombudsman
Service helping resolve complaints about councils and some other authorities
0845 602 1983

Charity working to end discrimination against mental illness whilst supporting sufferers
0845 766 0163

Money Claim
HM Court Services offering small claims service online
0845 601 5935

Money Made Clear
Information and guides about financial products for consumers from the Financial Services Authority (FSA)
0300 500 5000

My Money Steps
An excellent online debt advice service run by National Debtline

Regulator for the UK communications industry including television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communication services
0845 456 3000

Ombudsman service for solving disputes between water companies and customers
0121 625 1300

Ombudsman service helping resolve disputes between public communication providers and customers
0845 050 1614

Office of Fair Trading
Organisation responsible for promoting and protecting consumer interests
0845 722 4499

Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Carries out investigations into unfair, improper action or poor service UK Government and the NHS
0845 015 4033

Pension Service
Government department for work and pensions
0845 915 1515

Charity supporting victims of domestic violence in partnership with Women’s Aid and Refuge
0808 2000 247

Charity offering relationship counselling and relationship advice
0845 130 4016

Rights of Women
Charity aiming to empower women on their legal rights
020 7251 6577

Charity providing non-judgmental emotional support 24 hours a day
0845 790 9090

Charity aiming to meet the challenges caused by mental illness
0845 767 8000

Charity providing help and support for those with housing needs, including the homeless
0808 800 4444

Charity providing a wealth of information on all Tax related issues
0845 120 3779

Tenant Services Authority
Government regulator for the provision of affordable housing
0845 230 7000

Consumer focussed organisation offering advice, testing and reviews on consumer products
01992 822 800

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Our Vision and Services

Our vision is of a society where no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health.

Mental health problems are extremely common across society, with one in four of us experiencing them in any year. Despite being so common, people from all communities will still experience discriminatory attitudes and behaviours that can prevent people from speaking out, seeking support and playing full and active roles in our communities. The impact of mental health stigma and discrimination will vary between communities as mental health has a cultural context that affects the way communities talk about the subject and engage with people who have mental health problems. In some cultures depression, for example, doesn't exist and in others an experience of a mental health problem can be attached to a sense of shame.

For the African and Caribbean communities a key issue is the overrepresentation of young African and Caribbean men in mental health services. Misconceptions and stereotypes have led to a perception that this group is more likely to pose a risk of violent behaviour and, as a result, they are more likely to be treated as inpatients and sectioned when compared to other groups. It is well documented that this has led to a fear of talking about mental health issues more openly and a fear of using mental health services. Research by the Race Equality Foundation (2011) also highlighted fears that discrimination against Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and migrant service users will increase in the austerity climate and whilst commissioning arrangements change.

Our Services

· Provide information, advice, advocacy

· Represent diversity communities in Health Care services, policies and strategies

· Organise training in health and social care in collaboration with local colleges

· Provide human resources ( including interpreters) who are suitable to the diversity communities especially to break language and cultural barriers

· Provides domiciliary care and support

· Provide services such specialised support for people with mental health needs, including people who suffer from short-term memory problems, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

· Provide visits to elderly people and help them with outings and home services

· Participate in local authority and NHS consultations , research events and programmes to voice the needs of diversity communities.

· Increase access to services and rights for disadvantaged people and the most vulnerable of our society

· Help and support unemployed people to look for work, including training and job preparation

· Provide legal advice in a range of issues from on Immigration and Asylum , welfare benefits, housing, health, education, community care, and training, employment, etc.

· Provide advice and guidance, information and practical help so that our service users can access opportunities they are entitled to

· Organise training and other community learning opportunities that provide new skills, increase confidence and motivation

· Support our service users to overcome barriers to learning, employment and training

· Provide support for young people with their education, training, confidence building, employment and social needs.

Objectives of our Diversity Living Programme:

· To promote the inclusion and participation of diversity communities* in integrated care.

· To inform policy, locally and nationally, and assisting in the formulation of effective policies, strategies and good practices in integrated care in order to contribute to improved health outcomes for the people from the diversity communities (e.g. Black and minority ethnic communities) and to ensure health services are able to meet their specific needs.

· To improve the quality of life for diversity people with disability, mental health problems and their families and carers through integrated care by providing inclusive advocacy and information.

· To provide service that enable diversity groups and individuals with disability /elderly and their carers to make the right choice for themselves and have an influence on decisions made about their future.

· To promote the rights of diversity people with disability, their families and carers and make sure their rights are safe and protected.

· To promoting access to information regarding healthcare issues and to raise awareness of the needs of diversity disabled children, young people, older people and their families.

· To promote the rights of older and disabled diversity people, helping them overcome and enable them to participate in decisions about their future

· To provide support and information to those suffering the isolation and loneliness that can be associated with disability and old age

· To fight against mental health stigma in refugee, black and minority ethnic communities and ensure no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health or disability.

*Diversity communities are older people, disabled people, Black, Asian, refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and other ethnic minorities.