Advice NI has been selected to join an independent expert panel to review the Discretionary Support Scheme in Northern Ireland

The scheme offers financial support to individuals in Northern Ireland facing crisis situations.

Kevin Higgins, Advice NI’s Head of Policy sits on the panel, which is chaired by Grainne McKeever, Professor of Law and Social Justice at Ulster University.

He said: “We welcome this independent review and would encourage anyone with an interest in Discretionary Support to get involved.”

Other organisations represented on the panel, appointed by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey in June, include The Trussell Trust, Ulster University, Falls Community Council and Law Centre NI.

The aim of the panel is to establish if the Discretionary Support Scheme is delivering to those who really need.

The panel would like to hear about the experiences people have had with the Discretionary Support service and organisations who support people to use the service.

A short survey has been created to help the panel understand the experience of applying for a Discretionary Support loan or grant, and how Discretionary Support could be improved. An information sheet is available to view here.

To complete the survey just click here, it will be available throughout July and August 2021.