Case study | Islington Council

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Helping Islington Council to distribute their Resident Support Scheme
At a glance:
•	Delivering emergency support in the form of white goods, furniture, food vouchers, energy vouchers and clothing cards
•	Quick and efficient delivery so that those facing severe financial hardship are not left waiting for support.
•	Dedicated customer service, including our Helpdesk and account manager meetings.
•	A flexible and reliable service, helping Islington to navigate the challenges of new working patterns and legislative changes.

Islington Council’s Resident Support Scheme is a programme which provides assistance for residents who are facing extreme financial hardship and are in need of temporary or one-off help with living costs. Amidst the Cost of Living Crisis, the Resident Support Scheme offers a safety net for Islington residents, and is a lifeline for local people in a crisis.

The scheme provides short term support, in the form of vouchers to buy food or pay for energy bills; grants to help residents with essential household items, such as white goods or furniture, or support with other bills and costs.

Their challenges

Islington Council first partnered with FFBS in April 2016, but after another provider pulled out without warning, FFBS have supported them to deliver the Resident Support Scheme. The worsening Cost of Living Crisis meant that there was increased demand for emergency food vouchers. Additionally, support was needed to set up robust, effective and easy-to-use systems to purchase essential household items for residents.

On top of this, Islington Council has needed to find ways to adapt to changes which have made delivering support to residents more challenging in recent years. These changes include new staff working patterns, with many staff working from home; an increase in electronic transactions, as more residents become comfortable and familiar with using electronic devices and the internet; coping with the impact of legislative changes, which have affected how residents manage their money, and claim and receive benefits, and the need to support recently arrived refugees.

Our solution

FFBS have been able to support Islington Council’s Resident Support Scheme by delivering white goods, furniture, food vouchers, energy vouchers and clothing cards, which are a lifeline for those in a crisis. As residents seeking support from the scheme need urgent help, it was vital that support was delivered quickly and efficiently. Vouchers ordered through the FFBS portal are delivered daily, and everything from delivery and installation to extended warranties of household items are handled by FFBS, cutting out slow middlemen. This ensured that those facing severe financial hardship are not left waiting for support.

FFBS have helped Islington to navigate changes to their organisation by providing an effective, flexible and reliable service to Islington Council and their beneficiaries. Our dedicated customer service, with our Helpdesk and account manager meetings, meant that we were able to work collaboratively to tackle the challenges facing many local authorities due to unprecedented demand for emergency help with the cost of living, and new working patterns.

The results

As a result of the partnership, Eileen Broderick of Islington Council said, “We have been able to support residents in a very short space of time (less than 2 months), with more than £100k worth of grocery vouchers”. Additionally, they have been able to continue to support residents in the community by awarding essential household items such as beds and cookers. The Resident Support Scheme has been vital in helping Islington residents through the Cost of Living Crisis.

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