Windfall for support services

A welfare rights organisation and a group supporting people with industrial diseases have been given a funding boost by Derbyshire County Council.

Derbyshire Unemployed Workers’ Centre, which offers free, independent welfare rights advice, will receive a grant of £40,148.

Meanwhile the Trade Union Safety Team (TRUST) will receive £5,821.

Cabinet member for health and communities, Coun Dave Allen said: “We’re extremely pleased to be able to continue to fund these two organisations which provide essential support to thousands of people every year.

“The advice that the staff and volunteers at both organisations provide is a great help to many people in Derbyshire who are going through difficult times.”

Derbyshire Unemployed Workers’ Centre (DUWC) offers a number of services geared around welfare rights including guidance on benefits and tax credits, help with form-filling, representation at benefits tribunals and redundancy advice.

Last year, DUWC dealt with nearly 12,349 enquiries and it is estimated they helped to bring in more than £2.3m for local people as a result.

The Trade Union Safety Team (TRUST) provides help and support, including legal and benefits advice, on all aspects of health and safety at work including industrial diseases. TRUST works closely with DUWC and refers clients for benefits advice where necessary.

In 2011/12, TRUST dealt with more than 700 enquiries and there has been a steady increase in the number of people using its service.