Scibble and Scribe: Community form filling service

Scribble and Scribe is a voluntary service proposed by Wolverhampton Citizens Advice Bureau but developed through local communities and networks

No_avatar_small Submitted by Craig Alford
Make:Shift
How can we use people, and local assets to make Wolverhampton a better place?

Scribble and Scribe community form filling service

Scribble and Scribe is a voluntary service proposed by Wolverhampton Citizens Advice Bureau but developed through local communities and networks such as; community groups, support networks, charitable organisations, faith groups and voluntary sector agencies. The service would be provided by trained volunteers from across Wolverhampton and their role would be to apply pen to paper ( or fingers to keyboards) and complete forms in the words of clients who are struggling with forms and paperwork for whatever reason including language and literacy problems.

The role of Scribble and Scribe is to assist people who are struggling to complete the forms and paper work that is required in many day to day contexts such as :

•Benefit and Tax Credit claims •Passports applications •Driving licence applications •Court forms •PPI claim forms

Scribble and Scribe is not an advice service but an inability to complete forms impacts on many people and often generates problems that could have been avoided if people were given this kind of support.

The role of the scribe is to enter information provided by the client in their own words. This is separate from a decision about whether or not a form or application is required or should be submitted in any individual instance. *

Clients needing advice about their rights, responsibilities and entitlements would be signposted to appropriate advice agencies such as the CAB.

Scribes need good communication skills and need to understand and respect confidentiality. **

CAB staff would offer induction and periodic top up training sessions for Scribes but the service would exist as a stand alone project.

Scribes could be drawn from a wide range of communities and should include speakers from a range of community languages including British Sign Language.

Services could be provided in public spaces such as libraries, community centres, the Civic Centre or in free voluntary sector spaces and Community Hubs****

The service would need low levels of funding but there may volunteer expenses in relation to travel and other sundry costs. Wherever possible Scribble and Scribe would take advantage of IT, phones, rooms etc at host organisations.

Notes:

  • Where fraud is suspected the service would not assist with applications

** Good written English is a pre requisite

*** Clients seeking to use the service would sign a disclaimer to the affect that the role to the scribe was to transcribe the clients own words and that service accepted no liability for the outcome of any claim process.

**** Scribble and Scribe could operate on a loose free form basis; perhaps coordinated by social media or on a rotation around venues where people could drop in or attend by prior arrangement.

Craig Alford Organisational Development Manger Wolverhampton CAB 01902572211