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Who can join?

  • All 3rd sector organisations providing free advice or support to residents of Wigan Borough.
  • All organisations who wish to use the Advice Referral Centre.
  • Public Sector bodies such as Libraries, Sure Start Centres, Health services.
  • Registered Social Landlords.

The Network is open to all organisations who provide free advice and meet the membership criteria.

Membership is also open to organisations for whom advice is not their primary focus such as carers groups. This may for example include organisations that provide practical support to clients with a specific medical condition or disability. It is important that advice organisations know about this support so clients can be referred or signposted. Equally these support organisations need to be able to refer or signpost clients to advice organisations where appropriate, to supplement the practical support they provide.

Clients depend on the wide availability of free, quality assured advice. The initial stages of the WAND project do not include private providers. We may consider private sector organisations at a later stage if it is in the interest of the network to do so.

What are the benefits of joining?

  • Becoming part of a common referral system.
  • Facility to refer clients on for further quality assured advice through the common referral system.
  • Being part of the WAND website.
  • Access to supplementary advice from other network organisations.
  • Support with Training Needs Analysis and referral processes.
  • Opportunities for shared volunteer development and recruitment.
  • Free or subsidised local training courses (some with accreditation).
  • Promote your activities through the WAND E-newsletters and website.
  • Opportunities to network with other advice and support agencies.
  • Influencing campaigns for change.
  • Opportunities for collaboration on service delivery and commissioning.
  • Funding opportunities resulting from joint funding bids with network partners.
  • Opportunities to help shape the future of advice provision across the borough.

Conditions of membership

Network members should be willing to:

Sign up to the following protocol documents:

  • WAND Equality and Diversity Statement
  • Data protection policy
  • Complaints policy
  • Terms of Reference
  • Complete the referral process training.
  • Communicate experience of the WAND Network and the benefits of working together as a network to other organisations.
  • Participate in Task Groups and Network Events to share best practice and improve advice giving across Wigan Borough.
  • Deliver advice and /or information services (if applicable) to an agreed quality standard.
  • Make referrals to advice services through an agreed network process.
  • Participate in a programme of volunteer recruitment and development if appropriate.
  • Participate in training where appropriate.
  • Provide content for the WAND website, including details of how other organisations can refer to you and areas of advice or support your provide, and to provide the WAND team with any updates on a regular basis.
  • Provide details of any Quality Marks held by your organisation.
  • Provide details of membership of nationally recognised bodies.
  • Refer and signpost clients where appropriate.
  • Share information so that we can see where we are making a difference.
  • Provide evidence for campaigning on social policy issues.
  • Promote the benefits of advice.