Leading Advice Charity launches a Covid19 safe mobile advice van on 25th Anniversary

Advice NI the leading advice charity are celebrating their 25th year operating with a difference this year.  They are delighted to announce they have launched their first mobile advice van to offer face to face advice to the public.
They are delighted to announce they have launched their first mobile advice van to offer face to face advice to the public. The Covid19 safe mobile advice van is adapted so the adviser can provide much needed face-to-face advice to the public in a Covid19-friendly environment. In March 2020, following government guidelines and in light of the Covid19 restrictions, face-to-face advice services were suspended. Leaving many vulnerable people without the vital services they heavily relied on when in need of advice. Advice NI made an application for funding for the mobile advice van from Barclays and in September found out we were successful.

In April, Barclays announced a £100m Community Aid Package to support charities that are helping people and communities most impacted by COVID-19. £10m of this funding has been donated through their 100x100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme, with Advice NI being one of 100 UK charities each receiving a donation of £100k, allowing their important work to continue. Advice NI was chosen by a selection committee for the meaningful work they are doing across Northern Ireland.

Adrian Doran, Head of Barclays Northern Ireland, said: “This crisis has had an unprecedented impact and we know this is an incredibly challenging time for many communities. By reaching those most in need of support, local charities, such as Advice NI, have played a vital role in this crisis, and continue to do so. Barclays is doing everything we can for our customers, clients and colleagues to help them through this pandemic. We hope that the donations we are making to charities in Northern Ireland, including Advice NI, will allow them to amplify their vital work and support more people as the crisis develops.”

Bob Stronge, Chief Executive Advice NI, said: “We are delighted to have won the application to provide the new mobile advice service. The Independent Advice Network has been unable to provide vital face to face advice to those who need it, and we hope this new service will assist in mitigating the impact of Covid19 on the finances and well-being of NI’s most vulnerable individuals & communities. We aim to bring a safe face to face advice services to those who are facing real hardship due to Covid19; helping them access their rights and entitlements; maximising income; addressing financial/money concerns.  We will be working with our member organisations to roll out the service across NI. We would urge anyone who needs face to face advice to contact the Freephone helpline on 0800 915 4604 where an adviser will triage your call and assist in setting up a face to face appointment. We are also asking any employers, community groups who think they could avail of free advice for employees and centre users to get in touch with the project manager to arrange a visit”.

  1. For further information, contact Bob Stronge, Advice NI CEO 07789756954. Please note Bob is only available for Zoom and telephone interviews at this time.
  2. Advice NI is the umbrella body for the Independent Advice Network in Northern Ireland and its members dealt with 540,983 enquiries in 2019/20, 75% being social security benefits related. For more information log on to www.adviceni.net.
  3. Advice NI’s freephone helpline provides free advice on benefits, debt, business debt, EUSS, Tax Credits & HMRC services call 0800 915 4604.
  4. Mobile advice van appointments can be booked by calling 0800 915 4604
  5. About Barclays 100x100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme (for use in notes to editors)
Barclays is committed to helping its customers, clients, colleagues, and the wider community deal with the unprecedented social and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Barclays £100m COVID-19 Community Aid Package is designed to deliver support where it is needed most through corporate donations and matched colleague fundraising. An initial investment of £10m from the £100m Community Aid Package has been made through Barclays’ 100x100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme, which has seen the bank make 100 donations of £100,000 to charities across the UK. For Barclays press enquiries please contact: David.Martin2@barclays.com / +44 (0)7552 214 106 

Photo Caption – Bob Stronge, CEO Advice NI with Adrian Doran, Head of Barclays Northern Ireland