Project information

Advice by email and web-chat

We want to extend our reach within the city, allowing everyone to seek advice via email and web-chat services. This would open up additional 'advice channels', alongside more traditional 'face-to'face' delivery, increasing service availability generally and access by younger people in particular.

April 2017 - March 2019

Charity information: Coventry Independent Advice Service

Coventry Independent Advice Service logo
  • Need

    Need

    Our 'traditional' face-to-face services are in high demand and people often ask whether they could access advice online or via email. In addition, there is considerable evidence confirming that younger people (in particular) rarely access advice services established for the general population. Live chat/online/email is convenient and instantly available. It can be developed as a compliment to existing service, helping to meet levels of currently unmet demand.

    Solution

    We can extend the reach of our advice services and meet demand in different ways. Online/web-chat and email advice can be developed as a compliment to existing services, helping to meet levels of currently unmet demand across the general population and among younger people in particular.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To increase the range of 'advice channels' available to Coventry residents.

    Activities

    » Develop and launch online and email advice channels for Coventry residents.
    » Recruit and train paid staff and volunteers in the use of online technology to deliver advice services.

    Availability of online and email advice services for Coventry residents by April 2017.


    Aim 2

    To increase the take-up of free information and advice services among younger people in Coventry.

    Activities

    » Develop and launch online and email advice channels for Coventry residents.
    » Recruit and train paid staff and volunteers in the use of online technology to deliver advice services.

    Increased number of service users aged between 18-30.


    Aim 3

    To increase the availability of free, independent, advice services for all Coventry residents.

    Activities

    » Develop and launch online and email advice channels for Coventry residents.
    » Recruit and train paid staff and volunteers in the use of online technology to deliver advice services.

    Increased take-up of advice services by all coventry residents (across a range of demographic indicators).


  • Impact

    Impact

    We will increase the availability and take-up of advice services across the city. This will result in an increase in money brought into the city (through previously unclaimed benefits, for example, and by assisting people to mange debt more effectively), thereby helping to address inequality, reduce disadvantage and poverty, and also to benefit the wider economy.

    Risk

    Risk: Delays in implementation
    Mitigation: Developing a detailed project plan, setting out a clear timetable and project milestones.

    Risk: Low quality user interface
    Mitigation: A clear understanding of the required system and clear requirements for remedying issues.

    Risk: Low take-up
    Mitigation: Good marketing/publicity and engagement with potential user groups in advance of the launch.

    Risk: Budget overun
    Mitigation: Clear definition of requirements and good financial management processes.

    Reporting

    Donors will receive a personal 'thank you' message and will also be able to access project updates through our website. Our annual report will also detail project outcomes and include case studies detailing impact.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £85,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £58,000 Staff costs Recruitment and employment of adviser for 2 years
      £8,000 Direct costs Including training, marketing and promotion, evaluation costs, etc.
      £13,000 Overheads Central costs, including management, admin, finance, office costs, IT maintainance, insurances, etc.
      £6,000 Capital costs Purchase of equipment (including laptop) and annual software licenses
  • Background

    Location

    The project will be available for all residents of Coventry. We are the 13th largest city in the UK with a population of 337,400.

    Average age is 34 (six years younger than the UK average). There are around 120 different languages spoken and 38% of residents are not of UK origin (20% nationally). The city has high rates of key deprivation indices and almost 1 in 5 live in the 10% most deprived wards in the UK.

    Beneficiaries

    All Coventry residents are potential beneficiaries but this project seeks to open additional 'advice channels' (e.g. via internet and mobile devices) and aims to increase take-up by younger people in particular. Greater accessibility ensures more individuals can access the information and advice that will help them to make informed choices. This builds benefits for the whole city by increasing levels of income which will, in turn, support the economy through the local multiplier effect.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Our service model is based on delivering advice services where people need them, rather than requiring people to travel into a city-centre venue to seek advice. We reach people ‘where they are’, in their own community, and deliver our services in safe and accessible venues. We are a trusted intermediary, building trust and a reputation for excellence over the past 25 years, and this additional service development offers communities a new, and innovative, way of accessing our services.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Alan Markey

    Alan is Director of Service and has over 28 years experience within the advice sector. He will have responsibility for overall project management.

    Caron McKenna

    Caron is Chair of Trustees and will ensure that good governance and oversight of the project is in place.