New Qualifications for ACH Support Team 

Article by:  
Naomi Gill  
Support Worker | ACH Bristol 
Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Advice & Guidance: 
 
Tom and I from Ashley Community Housing’s Bristol Support Team have recently completed a Level 4 Diploma in Advice and Guidance with the Open University. Over the past 12 months we have been working towards this qualification which has evidenced and built upon our existing skills in providing information, advice and guidance to our clients. 
 
The course consolidated our existing knowledge base and provided information about legislation and techniques for good practice. Amongst others, we took modules in advocacy, conflict resolution, provision of advice and guidance; planning and reviewing client progress. 
 
The advice we give to tenants and community members covers a wide spectrum. We advise and advocate regarding careers and education, health, housing, finance/benefits, to mention just a few. 
 
New arrivals to the country face many barriers, including the language barrier, and adapting to a new and complicated system. It is particularly important that our clients can access informed and unbiased advice. There are individuals, organisations and companies who will sometimes take advantage of somebody’s limited English, and part of our work is to advocate to make sure our clients understand their rights and are given equal treatment and opportunities. It can also be helpful to make plans with people, helping them look to the future by breaking down their goals into manageable and achievable steps. It’s important that the guidance is ongoing, for as long as it is needed, to make sure everyone gets to a point where they are ready to move away from this support. 
 
With our new qualification, we will continue to deliver an excellent service to contribute to the settlement and progression of refugees as they seek to take advantage of the myriad opportunities available in the UK. 
 
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