Advocate is delighted to announce funding from The National Lottery Community Fund for new phones and a full training programme for the team members who operate the enquiries line.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Advocate moved its services online, launching a new application form and adopting an electronic bundling system to keep applications progressing. However, the office telephone system did not allow us to securely divert calls made to our enquiries line to the team’s personal phones, or for our managers to provide supervision. We were therefore forced to close the line and return voicemails left on the answerphone from personal mobiles.

We are pleased to have secured a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund to enable us to reopen our enquiries telephone line, to support those facing digital exclusion and isolation. It will allow us to offer help with form filling and making an application to Advocate, as well as referring those in need of mental health support or financial assistance to specialist services.

Additional advanced telephone line training on how to support and respond to distressed callers will provide our staff team with the skills necessary to support the vulnerable with confidence and contribute to our overall mission to provide access to justice for those in need.