As Universal Credit rolls out across Southwark, the impact on individuals and communities is growing.
In order to help address some of these issues Community Southwark, in partnership with Southwark Law Centre, Advising Communities, Citizens Advice Southwark, and Pecan, launched the Southwark Universal Credit Network.
The aim of the network is to provide an information sharing platform for voluntary and community sector organisations who are supporting residents being adversely affected by the introduction of Universal Credit.
People affected by Universal Credit have needs around advice, food poverty, health and wellbeing – this means there are multiple entry points to support from the VCS and demand is set to increase over the next few years.
The network's aims are to identify emerging issues and help mitigate against their impact and also to gather a body of evidence. This evidence will be used to improve local and national policy, and allow other areas of the UK that have yet to see UC’s introduction to learn from the system’s current failings.
The network meets quarterly and is being supported by key statutory partners including Southwark Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.