Annual Review 2011/12: Welfare Services
ASAP is delivered by Citizens Advice Scotland and funded by Poppyscotland and a number of other charities. Serving and ex-Service people, and their families, can access free, confidential and expert advice on a wide range of issues, from benefits and debts to housing, employment and health. The service is available both through a national telephone helpline (0845 231 0300) and by trained Regional Support Officers in Citizens Advice Bureaux in Dundee; Fife; Inverness, Moray & Nairn; Lanarkshire; Renfrewshire and Stirlingshire. These areas were chosen strategically as we did not wish to duplicate other services operating in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
ASAP has gone from strength to strength and at the end of September 2012 over 2,000 clients had accessed the service. The client financial gains for this period were over £1.2 million which is a return of over £2.70 for every pound invested. A startling finding from the project is that veterans tend to have far more multiple and complex needs than civilians who access the service. This finding has been highlighted in other pieces of research that Poppyscotland has been involved in but further research is required to gain an understanding of the reasons for this.
ASAP has also benefited from the introduction of an e-learning tool and a complementary resource guide. They have been widely distributed and well received across the advice sector.
Furthermore, a Citizens Advice Scotland social policy report was produced which was launched in conjunction with an extremely positive Members’ Debate in the Scottish Parliament about the merits of ASAP.
We believe that ASAP is vital because it delivers a service that is clearly needed and we look forward to seeing ASAP go from strength to strength.
To access ASAP call 0845 231 0300
Or to find out more click here