AFFA Advice & Financial First Aid

Advice & Financial First Aid (AFFA)
Citizens Advice Swindon has developed the AFFA project in recognition of the fact that people in need of advice too often don’t come to advice centres, and that supply of advice services will always be outstripped by demand.
The aim of the project is to give people improved access to information and advice
that helps them gain :
● the knowledge and confidence to manage their money and make better
informed financial decisions
● the tools and support they need to increase income and reduce expenditure
where possible

AFFA in the Community

The AFFA team are working in the community to take advice and information to people where they meet. We can deliver talks on how to manage your money and maximise your income, or we can also set
up drop in advice sessions or attend your events.
If you would like to see what the team can provide for your community group/club/ school/faith group etc please get in

AFFA Training

AFFA training is available to local statutory and voluntary service providers. The training is an opportunity to upskill staff and volunteers working on the frontline of any public facing local service to support people in the community. The aim is to increase the ability of statutory services, voluntary, community and faith groups to spot advice issues and get people the help they need.

Our training will equip these groups with key advice facts and concepts, basic advice principles, and knowledge of advice resources; thereby enabling them to provide effective information, signposting or referral.
Topics will include:
-An overview of the Benefits system Which benefit? Eligibility criteria and how to apply. Potential problems and pitfalls
and Passporting benefits
– Calculating Benefits – How to carry out a benefits check plus problems and pitfalls
– An introduction to debt advice -identifying priority and non-priority debts and action that can be taken by creditors.Identifying emergencies and when to refer.
-Budgeting tips and extra support available eg. Charitable grants, energy and food vouchers, assistance and hardship funds

AFFA Appointments

Appointments are available to speak to an AFFA Adviser who can help people maximise their income and reduce their expenditure where possible. The adviser may:
– Check eligibility for unclaimed benefits and help them, or give them the tools to make a claim
– Check eligibility for grants or hardship payments and help make a claim
– Review their monthly budget and offer tips on how to be “savvy shoppers”
– Provide tips on saving money on energy bills and help contact their energy provider where needed
– Check eligibility and help access social tariffs for water, broadband and travel
– Sign them up to Priority Service Register with their utility provider
– Provide emergency support where needed – eg fuel vouchers, referrals to foodbank and accessing SBC Emergency Assistance Fund

AFFA Advisers can also refer to our specialist Debt and Benefits teams where someone would benefit from additional support in these areas.

Upcoming Training:

AFFA Training March – April 23