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A man named Joe…

By Elena Casilli, Service Coordinator, VOICES   Joe* has multiple and complex need’s.  I’ve been working with…

PIP & Work Capability Assessment: Good practice, guidance and templates

By Lisa Kearns, Welfare Benefits Caseworker – Leading and Learning, Citizens Advice Staffordshire North and…

Hypothetical Question… What would you do?

By Elena Casilli, Service Coordinator, VOICES   Anyone who works with customers who are in prison thinks…

Unprecedented Times: COVID-19 blog

By Geoff Davies, Specialist Housing Advisor, Stoke North and Staffordshire Citizens Advice Bureau   Like most people…

Homeless Health Outreach: COVID-19 blog

Advanced Nurse Practitioner Jane Morton gives us her thoughts and experiences of continuing to provide…

Universal Credit: Stopping the ‘Stop Notice’

By John Ryan, Welfare Benefits Case Worker, Stoke North and Staffordshire   A feature of Universal Credit…

COVID-19 – ‘Meaningful use of time’ during lockdown

By Elena Casilli, Service Coordinator, VOICES   As a service coordinator we don’t just focus on “coordinating…

A day in the life of a System Broker (in quarantine)

By Lauren Macaskill, System Broker, VOICES   Well this case study isn’t how I’d thought it would…

There’s something ‘phishy’ about this… Recognising and avoiding scams

By Dean Spruce, Communication and Media Manager, VOICES   It’s always important to be vigilant in our…

Democratising or Demonising Drug Dependence?

By Steve Freeman, Solution Focused Practitioner   We know that mental health care still resonates with echoes…

Back to Earth: Red Dwarf, homework, and coronavirus

By Andy Meakin, VOICES Project Director As I write, we’re still less than two weeks into…

Event: Solution Focus Practice and Beyond

By Steve Freeman, Solution Focused Practitioner   June is looming on the horizon and it’s all set…

A day in the life of a Service Coordinator

By Elena Casilli, Service Coordinator, VOICES   As a Service Coordinator I want to make sure that…

Deductions from Universal Credit (UC)

By Julie Holdcroft, Stoke North and Staffordshire Citizens Advice Bureau   Money can be taken from your…

A day in the life of a Community Development Coordinator

By Lee Dale, Community Development Coordinator, VOICES My name is Lee and eight months ago I…

Working While Living in Supported Housing

By Julie Holdcroft, Stoke North and Staffordshire Citizens Advice Bureau   Supported Housing provides temporary accommodation, ususally…

Lost – Recognising and responding to loneliness

By Steven Talbot, Training and Consultancy, Steven Talbot Consultancy   “A subjective, unwelcome feeling of lack or…

Hindsight is a beautiful thing: Reflections of a Service Coordinator

By Anna Mather, Service Coordinator, VOICES I was recently asked “if I could go back and…

High-ho, high-ho, it’s off to plant some tree’s we go!

VOICES Service Coordinator Elena Casilli recently accompanied her customer Brad to a tree planting event,…

Mandatory Reconsideration: Maximise the Chance of Changing a Decision

By Julie Holdcroft, Welfare Benefits Advisor, Stoke North & Staffordshire Citizens Advice Bureau   If you get…

Hidden Homelessness

By Geoff Davis, Specialist Housing Advisor, Stoke North & Staffordshire Citizens Advice Bureau   Hidden Homelessness If you…

Please don’t call us ‘difficult to engage’

By Sharon Sharman, Learning and Evaluation Manager, VOICES Last year VOICES, along with Expert Citizens C.I.C.…

Practice based learning with the Frontline Programme

By Eleanor Etherton-Rogers, Consultant Social Worker (Frontline) & Toni-Marie Foster, Student Social Worker (Frontline)   The Frontline programme…

Making a homeless application

By Geoff Davies, Specialist Housing Advisor, Citizens Advice Staffordshire North and Stoke on Trent   Introduction This is…

Care Act Advocacy Training

Ruth Francis, Service Manager, Inspiring Change Manchester   On the 18th June VOICES delivered Care Act Advocacy…

There are few guarantors in life

By Geoff Davies, Specialist Housing Advisor, Citizens Advice Staffordshire North and Stoke on Trent   Increasingly, landlords…

Staffordshire Police: Mental Health Training Events

By Diane Malkin, Vulnerability Manager, Thematic Lead for Vulnerability and Mental Health, Staffordshire Police   As part…

What on Earth is Motivational Interviewing?

By Steven Talbot, Learning and Development Consultant, Steven Talbot Consultancy   Ambivalence, oh my – just the…

Shining a light on Social Work placements

By Nicole Davies, Senior Lecturer and offsite educator of social work practice   I’ve worked as an…

Dates for your diary…

Multiple Disadvantage Day 2019 Over the last year the National Communications Group, comprising of representatives from…

Universal Credit and Universal Credit Housing Costs: Prisoners

By Karen Dunn, Specialist benefits advisor, Citizens Advice Staffordshire North and Stoke-on-Trent In this months installment…

Not just for Christmas…

By Dean Spruce, Communication & Media Coordinator, VOICES   The month is January, it’s cold, there’s snow…

Personal Independence Payment Assessments: Mental Health and ‘Good Reason’

A common issue arising from our work with VOICES is getting benefits reinstated or a…

Valuing lived experience and busting the lifestyle choice myth

Photo: Andy Meakin congratulating Jason Smith on his speech and poetry performance By Andy Meakin, VOICES…

Welfare Benefits – Hints and Tips: Help to Save Account

By Karen Dunn, Specialist Welfare Advisor, SNSCAB & Sharon Sharman, Learning and Evaluation Manager, VOICES   Help…

Supervision: More questions than answers?

Steve Freeman, Solution Focused Practitioner. www.stevefreeman.org.uk This article is late to press. It’s very, very late.…

A visit to Wrexham NPS taskforce and community hub

By Steve Willis, Service Co-ordinator, VOICES   Stoke-on-Trent Police recently organised a visit to Wrexham where they…

The benefits of checking benefits

By Karen Dunn, Specialist Benefits Advisor, Citizens Advice Over the last four years VOICES and Citizens…

Trapped in unemployment

By Steve Barkess, Community Development Coordinator, VOICES   Throughout the UK there are many people who reside…

HMP Dovegate NPS Learning

NPS is a major concern in our prison.  The Substance Misuse team at Dovegate took…

Transgender – Who Cares?

By Steve Barkess, Community Development Coordinator, VOICES   Following my article focusing on Transgender and Poverty myself…

Appealing a benefit decision? You need to read this…

By Karen Dunn, Specialist Benefits Advisor, Citizens Advice Staffordshire North and Stoke   Following a recent discussion…

Approaches to well-being

By Helen Dos Santos NLPMP, Wellbeing & Resilience Life Coach   Staff at VOICES are people that are passionate…

Isolation, Loneliness & Connection

By Dean Spruce, Communication & Media Coordinator, VOICES   I recently had a conversation with an inspirational…

Ever heard of the Plain English campaign?

By Mandy Jago, Staff Wellbeing Manager/Organisational Development Consultant, NHS Combined Healthcare and VOICES volunteer   Ever heard…

From Stoke to Seattle

By Steve Barkess, Community Development Coordinator, VOICES   My adventure is soon to begin… In a few days’…

Rough Sleeping, to citywide teaching

Lee Dale, Expert citizens, VOICES   In 2014 I was invited to do a short interview with…

Citizens Jury – Appropriate access to mental health services

Steven Barkess, Community development coordinator, VOICES   This month my colleague, Dean Spruce and I, attended a…

I remember the first time I went to see a doctor about my mental health…

Erin Dunn, Administrator, VOICES I remember the first time I went to see a doctor about…

Making the case for systems change

Dean Spruce, Communications and Media Coordinstor, VOICES In my role for VOICES the term and the…

Poverty and Transgender

Written by Steven Barkess, Community Development Coordinator, VOICES I am a member of the LGBT community…

Shared Learning creates an Integrated Approach and Holistic Support

Written by: Steve Gaunt, Employment Advisor – Families Matter Initiative, Department for Work and Pensions As…

Connecting and Learning with Local Organisations

*Article originally featured by Staffordshire University, School of Law, Policing and Forensics Written by Sarah Page,…

The Care Act: a toolkit for advocacy

By Bruno Ornelas, Service Manager, VOICES and Dr Michelle Cornes, Senior Research fellow, Kings College…

Making Sense of Social Prescribing

By Steve Barkess, Community Development Coordinator, VOICES This month as a member of the community development…

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