‘Supporting people facing financial hardship in Cornwall: Finding ways to improve access and availability of financial support in Cornwall’

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Earlier this month Transformation Cornwall teamed up with the Trussell Trust, Independent Food Aid Network, and Cornwall Council to co-host a discussion forum around Cornwall Council’s delivery of local welfare assistance schemes. The forum was attended by over thirty front line organisations and support groups who work with people facing hardship and poverty across Cornwall.

This follows an online discussion forum held in November 2021, which gathered critical evidence on how people were able to identify and access financial support from Cornwall Council. This, in turn, led to a review of the Local Authority’s Local Welfare Assistance Scheme (LWAS). Keen to hear and learn from this feedback, Cornwall Council took the review’s recommendations on board and invited us to review their Discretionary Financial Assistance Policy and Internal Guidance Notes for staff, around eligibility criteria based on the report’s recommendations.

This month’s forum was the opportunity for Cornwall Council to present changes they have made and an opportunity for the attending organisations to discuss these changes, and the potential for more collaborative working across organisations in the future.

Transformation Cornwall will be involved in co-producing a further report to be published in July 2023, and plan to hold another joint evidence-gathering session in January 2024.