Regional networks

Some NAWRA members are involved in local groups and networks. Please keep us informed if details change or if you know if any other groups.

England –

Our bi-monthly meetings are held at different venues across Greater Manchester and are open for all involved in giving advice on benefits, across the North West region. Just come along, no need to book a place. You are very welcome.  Contact Terry Patterson at Manchester Council.

  • North East – North East Reps Group

A quarterly meeting of social security tribunal reps looking at issues of common interest and practice.  Contact Chris Graham at Durham County Council.

  • Yorkshire & The Humber – Yorkshire & Humberside Welfare Rights Officers Group

The Welfare Benefits Unit hold a bi-annual Forum meeting for advisers in York and North Yorkshire. Meetings are open to advisers and support workers from any organisation.  Contact the Welfare Benefits Unit for more information.

Advice Leeds hold a Welfare Rights Group quarterly (currently facilitated by Gipsil on Advice Leeds’ behalf).  Meetings are open to advisers from any organisation. Contact Sarah Duffy  or Robert McHugh for more details or to join mailing list

  • East – Suffolk Advice Network

The group meets regularly and participants are from most of the Suffolk based advice services. The network covers providers of advice in welfare benefits, housing and debt but also other topics when needed.  Contact Paul Brooks at Suffolk County Council.

  • London – Welfare Rights Forum

A group of welfare rights advisers who meet quarterly to discuss benefit issues. There are speakers at some meetings. Contact Nicola Wallace.

  • South West – ACFA: The Advice Network

An umbrella organisation supporting advice agencies, community groups, housing associations etc across the four unitary authorities of Bristol, North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Monthly meetings in Bristol provide a space for collective action, meeting other members, and sharing the latest information. Member benefits include access to low cost, local training in social welfare law. For more information please contact acfa.admin@gmail.com

  • West Midlands – West Midlands Welfare Rights Advisers Group (WMWRAG)

A group of welfare rights advisers (from both local authority and not-for-profit organisations) from across the West Midlands who meet periodically to exchange information and discuss topical issues affecting claimants and representatives. There are guest speakers and presentations at some meetings. Contact Mark Perlic (Wolverhampton City Council – Welfare Rights Service – Telephone: 01902 553352) to be put on the mailing list.

  • East Midlands – Leicester SWAP (Social welfare advice partnership

A group for Leicester-based advice agencies.  Meets monthly.  Contact Darren Moore (Leicester City Council)

Scotland

Rights Advice Scotland

Represents welfare rights officers in Scottish local authorities.  Contact Richard Gass at Glasgow City Council.

-Edinburgh advisers group

A bi-monthly meeting of advisers in Edinburgh. We bring together welfare rights advisers from the Council, housing associations, CAB and other voluntary sector services including those representing specific client groups, together with DWP officers and NHS Lothian. We have practice-focused discussions, share information about upcoming and ongoing benefits issues, update on service developments and have guest speakers from time to time.  Contact Mark Upward at City of Edinburgh Council.

All welfare rights advisors and interested parties are welcome to attend.

Wales – Welfare Rights Advisers Cymru (WRAC)

Quarterly meetings bring together local authority and voluntary sector advisers from across Wales to hear speakers and join in update/ workshop sessions, to offer mutual support and information exchange and to campaign and lobby at the Wales level.

4 meetings a year are held: one in North Wales, one in South Wales and two in the middle in Llandrindod Wells. Membership is on an individual basis – a bargain for a tenner

Please contact Gareth Morgan for details.

PIP Stakeholders Forum

Juan Rameriz (England and Wales) and Craig Samuel (Scotland) represent NAWRA at the DWP’s PIP Stakeholder Forum.  Please contact them with any issues.

Advice UK work in the regions focusing on direct support to their members and collaborative working amongst advice organisations.  There are networks in south east England, south west England, north east England, north west England, Yorkshire and Humberside, and the east of England.