Everything They Needed Us To Be, We Were
Coping with the Decentralisation of DWP Crisis Loans to Councils

[/one_third_last] Category: Corporate Responsibility (CSR)
Subcategory: Giving to the Community
Award won: Giving to the Community subcategory

Overview
o We were the FIRST to provide assistance to vulnerable customers with no obligation to repay the funding.
o SCC is one of a very few councils that supports EVERY member of the community.
o The social fund has provided security for various at risk residents including those suffering domestic violence. In the case of Miss D previous structures meant that her safety was in jeopardy if it had not be for our streamline application process
o We identified a unanimous feeling of abandonment and the need for assistance as residents felt another door to support had been closed.

Impact
o We turned customer opinions from: “the incompetent evil unjust government made me wait four and half months…” to: “…we would be in the gutter if not for (your) scheme.”
o The LAS Project heard the pleas of its customers and as at February 2014 has been able to process a total of 2630 claims. We approved 88% of claims silencing any doubts in the community based on our predecessor reputation.
o The partnership with SRN means; we meet environmental targets by reducing materials going to landfill, which allows our customer to receive high priority recycled furniture.

Innovation
We were:
o FIRST to provide assistance to vulnerable customers with no obligation to repay the funding.
o FIRST to open the social fund to ALL residents, not just those receiving social benefits, providing help almost instantly – By adopting an inclusive culture from what was once a bureaucratic and narrow process we provide support to all residents.
o EVOLVING our service by introducing an online application (May 14). We can tap into the community that are housebound or who find it difficult to be mobile – By automating the process, speed and efficiency help provide a stronger customer focus[/one_half_last]

Insight
o Firstly was lack of control over the transactions on the AllPay cards. We had envisaged being able to restrict certain retailers such as betting shops, tobacconists and limit the cards usage.
o Secondly the assumption was that the turn-around for the awarded goods through the Surrey Reuse Network. We found that some claims that we approve are left open for more than a month.
o Have more of a concerted effort to speak to those who work directly with families in need of LAS. Multitude of people could have benefited from LAS but weren’t because we weren’t widely publicised.

Inspiration
o Proven to be better than central Government, by adopting a more holistic approach to support the community. The customer’s viewpoints have been at the root of the service delivery as it is the customer feedback that initiated the change for planned improvements.
o We changed the lives of at risk members, be they victims of; natural disasters, safety at home or victims to life’s hardships through economic downfall. Statements like: “It helped me provide for my family” echoes the change that’s taking place.
o We are continuously stream lining our process to make it easier to give needed support.[/one_half_last]