By Steve Raw, Dosh Managing Director
VALUES IN ACTION
I started supporting people with a learning disability 25 years ago. This is my second career. My daughter, Bettina, was 9 years old at the time. Bettina copes with a learning disability, autism, and epilepsy. I knew what my values were (and they haven’t changed) but did I know what the values were of the organisation I was going to work for and if they had them, did they demonstrate them towards the people they support?
Several years ago, driving to the office on the M11, I was tuned into BBC Radio 5. A listener was telling the presenter about the importance of British Values. The presenter responds by saying what are they? “urmm, mmmm, a pause” and after not getting a coherent response from the listener, the presenter eventually cuts to the next person. I make a mental note not to make statements unless I can back them up and give examples. I also think, could I name our company values and best of all could I provide evidence we live them?
I have recently been invited by a couple of my colleagues to deliver a presentation to our team on ‘Values’. Now is a good time to reflect before I put my talk together.
Definition for “Values”
A set of principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important in life.
A set of moral principles that help you to decide what is right and wrong, and how to act in various situations
A philosophy that is meaningful to the company
Related: Giving Voices to Values – Leadership in the Raw by Meike Beckford
How they have worked in our company
Dosh (Financial Advocacy) Ltd is a company supporting adults with a learning disability to have more control and independence with their money. www.dosh.org Dosh is a Not-for-Profit Company and I have had the honour of being Dosh’s Managing Director since 2009. There are currently over 40 members of staff supporting 1200 people across England, Scotland, and Wales.
Our Values are a statement of intention and commitment to achieve a high level of performance for the people we support.
Our values are an internal reference and are designed to maintain a consistent approach in our work and support to people, no matter how much we grow as a company.
We have a ‘code’ which we share with each other, which includes:
Our Values are aimed towards each other and the people we support. We do not differentiate.
How we deliver them:
Personal Values are different for each person. These can be defined as ideas or beliefs that a person holds.
As I started my new work 25 years ago, I had the opportunity to set up a new team from scratch which would support people to be part of their local community who had previously not left the Victorian institution where they lived.
On my first day I had decided that my benchmark would be ‘Bettina’ when it came to setting out our values. What would I want for Bettina? And would I be happy with the people I recruited supporting Bettina? I have not moved from this position over the last quarter of a century.
Now define your Values:
Angela Atkin September 30th, 2021
Posted In: News and Blogs
By Steve Raw, Managing Director & Joanne Davies, Charityworks Graduate
With the start of the new financial year comes the opportunity to look back on what we achieved in 2020/2021 and to set out what we will set out to do in the coming year.
2020 was a difficult year for everyone, and it was no different for Dosh. We had to adapt to the new and challenging conditions that corona virus brought about.
Nevertheless, Dosh adjusted to life during the pandemic extremely well, continuing to advocate for the people we support and visiting almost 80% of the people we support every three months, whether online or in person.
Moreover, we continued to improve and expand Dosh, using our three strategic aims as our guiding principles.
Those aims were: to have an impact and make sure all our work makes a positive, valuable difference for people with a learning disability,
To keep strong values and to support people as well as make business decisions that fit with our values and vision.
To influence the world around us through partnering with other organisations to share our knowledge and experience as well as speaking up for the people we support.
Dosh did excellently in making sure that we achieved those aims.
In regards to having a positive, valuable impact, 92% of the people we support said they were happy or very happy with the support they get from Dosh. To see the full results from the annual survey, click here.
In regards to keeping strong values, Dosh took a two-pronged approach, introducing a “Dosh Values” course for new staff to give them a strong sense of what Dosh stands for. We also promoted the people we support’s individual independence and control over their money, with 87% of the people we support saying that they can use their money to do what they want.
In regards to having an influence on the world around us, Dosh provided consultancy and training for other organisations, including care providers, local supporters and advisors.
So now, building on our successes from the last year, Dosh would now like to make 10 new commitments. Our new commitments are:
10 Commitments for Dosh in 2020-2021
We will continue to exercise caution and control over our Budget and Budgetary management.
We will continue to review how we monitor, evaluate and report on our management accounts, so that we become financially stronger and more sustainable. Dosh will also consider Growth vs Consolidation during this business cycle.
We will be the leader in our field for Holacracy, self-leadership and team-leadership
f-leadership and self-organising teams to enable dynamic and flexible leadership, growth and development to be at the centre of our culture.
3. Financial advocacy
What does financial advocacy mean now? How do we act as financial advocates for someone?
During 2021 – 22 we need to continue to ask this question and check in with the people we support so that we continue to provide the support peo
ple want rather than what we think people want. How does that shape our external communications, the image we want to give and the research/projects/consultancy/campaigns we undertake?
4. Quality Assurance & Control
Knowing we are doing a good job and ensuring consistency and quality as we grow
We will review our quality strategy and introduce specific roles in the team to take a lead on managing and developing quality across Dosh.
5. Impact Measurement and Management
Knowing what makes a difference so we can have a greater impact
Dosh will develop its own impact management project to review and develop the positive impact we can have, alongside providing support and resources (both physical and equipment) to the Thera Group’s Impact Management strategy.
6. Financial and digital access:
Promoting better access to money for the people we support
We will look to create better access to spending money and cards for people we support who may not have capacity for banking/spending and inclusion in digital and online payments and spending. One of a number of research projects we will progress during 21/22.
How we communicate with our stakeholders.
With clearer/smarter data and information management we will find the best method, style and media to connect with people
Supporting staff wellbeing, diversity and engagement
We believe our employee wellbeing can directly improve the mental and physical health of the workforce, with general health being linked to increased levels of productivity, performance and retention and reduced absence. During this business year we will celebrate diversity, ensure wellness & wellbeing and active engagement with our colleagues.
9. Risk Management
Making smart business decisions and being well managed
We will develop our business and management policies and operational processes including when someone is no longer supported or passes away, how we deal with complaints and how we report our performance. This will give clear oversight so that we make conscious, clearly recorded decisions.
We will add value to Thera Trust
This will include:
To understand more about the Dosh 10 Commitments, watch our youtube video!
Angela Atkin April 6th, 2021
By Joanne Davies, Charityworks Graduate
When people think of Dosh they often think about our financial advocates who act as financial appointees for the people we support whilst also being an active member of their circle of support.
What most people don’t know is that Dosh also offers an account management service.
This blog post will talk about what the difference is between having an appointee and having an account manager at Dosh.
As mentioned in these blog posts written by Meike back in 2018, an appointee is a person or organisation that is registered with the department of work and pensions (DWP) to manage a person’s benefits if they lack capacity to do so themselves.
“Simply put, an appointee represents the person with the DWP. This means you do everything the benefit claimant would usually do, like filling out application forms, receiving benefit payments and reporting changes in circumstances.”
“you are responsible for spending the person’s money for them, for example to pay their bills.”
Dosh likes to go the extra mile and provide financial advocates, rather than just appointees. This means that your appointee also advocates for your best interests through being actively involved in your circle of support. Our advocates do their best to help you do what you want to do with your money.
Similarly, our account managers want to help you to do what you want with your money. But, they help you in a very different way.
Our account managers do not spend your everyday benefits money on your behalf. Instead, as outlined on this page, your account manager will support you to manage your care and support funding. This includes all types of self-directed supports, for example they will help you with your personal budget, individual budgets, Individual Service Funds (ISF) and personal health budgets.
Your account manager will receive your care and support funding from your local authority, or other funding body, and will use that money to pay your support provider.
Account management gives you the freedom to choose who you are supported by and in what way but takes away the stress of having to pay all the invoices on time.
So, let’s break down the differences
|What Dosh Provides:||Advocate||Account Management|
|A financial advocate who is part of your circle of support (if you want them to be)||Yes||No|
|Dosh managed bank account||Yes||Yes|
|A benefits assessment and help applying for new benefits||Yes||No|
|Applying for, receiving and managing your benefits||Yes||No|
|Setting up direct debits and standing orders for bills||Yes||No|
|Payments for holidays, invoices and other purchases||Yes||No|
|Receive payments from local authority or other funding body||No||Yes|
|Pay invoices for your support||No||Yes|
|Report to the local authority or other funding body on how the budget has been used.||No||Yes|
So, what is the difference between having a financial advocate and an accounts manager?
Contact Dosh to find out more about our advocates and account management to see what Dosh can do for you.
Angela Atkin March 8th, 2021
By Meike Beckford, Previous Lead Director
Benefits that are affected
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
“Permitted work” is allowed up to:
• £140 per week and under 16 hours
• £140 per week for any hours for “supported permitted work”. This applies if you are supported by an organisation (like a Local Authority) that supports disabled people to work.
You may also be eligible for Access to Work funding if you are doing permitted work.
Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) and Incapacity Benefit follow the same rules for permitted work as ESA.
This also follows the same rules as ESA for permitted work.
Your benefits will be reduced once you earn over £20 per week. For every £1 you earn over £20 you will lose £1 of your benefits.
There will not be any limits to the number of hours you can work, but the amount of Universal Credit you get will reduce as you work more:
• £292 per month (if you get housing costs with UC)
• £512 per month (if you do not get housing costs in UC)
Above this amount you will lose 63p of Universal Credit for every £1 extra you earn. This will be taken off automatically.
The amount you work does not affect your housing benefit, but your income and savings do affect it. Permitted work earnings usually don’t count as income (only the first £20 if you get Income Support).
If you keep ESA or Income Support, you are likely to keep Housing Benefit, but you should check.
You must tell Jobcentre Plus and the Local Council before volunteering or starting work, even if it is permitted.
Working Over 16 Hours
If you work over 16 hours per week you must tell the Jobcentre Plus and Local Council.
You will stop receiving Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance.
You may be able to claim other benefits and support including:
• Working tax credits
• Universal Credit
• Access to work: www.gov.uk/access-to-work
Working tax credits
* These are being replaced by Universal Credit.*
If you already have a tax credits claim, you will usually work:
• at least 30 hours
• at least 16 hours if you are disabled, over 60 and/or have children
How much you can get in tax credits and how much you can earn from work depends on your circumstances, for example if you are disabled, or have children or a partner.
Voluntary work will not affect your benefits. It does not count towards your hours of “permitted work” under ESA.
You can only be paid reasonable expenses (like a bus fare).
• Current benefits: www.gov.uk/browse/benefits
o Universal Credit and work: www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-your-earnings-affect-your-payments
o ESA and work: www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/eligibility
• Support on finding work if you are disabled: www.gov.uk/looking-for-work-if-disabled
• Help with moving from benefits to work: www.gov.uk/moving-from-benefits-to-work
• Find out what benefits you should be getting: www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators
• Disability Rights UK guide to working on benefits: www.disabilityrightsuk.org/work-people-living-disability-or-health-conditions
www.dosh.org ~ [email protected] ~ 0300 303 1288
Disclaimer – We have tried to ensure that the information in this document is
accurate. We will not accept liability for any loss, damage or inconvenience arising
as a consequence of any use of information – we always recommend you check with
the DWP or your local Job Centre Plus.
Version 6: February 2021.
Text © Dosh Ltd. 2018. Widgit Symbols © Widgit Software 2002-2021 www.widgit.com
Angela Atkin March 1st, 2021
Posted In: News and Blogs