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September 9, 2009

CREATE seeking community partners

In past briefings, LPL has promoted the campaign organised by CREATE for a Community Allowance, whereby benefit claimants can earn some money for community work without affecting their benefits. The Department of Work and Pensions has recently given the green light to a pilot project and CREATE is now looking for three community organisations to become partners in this pilot.  CREATE is keen for at least one of them to be Scottish

The Pilot Programme

We are currently inviting community organisations with an interest in running a Community Allowance pilot for people on Employment and Support Allowance and Incapacity Benefit to send us a proposal by 1st October 2009.


Right to Bid

Last year, the Government announced that it was creating a Right to Bid scheme that would enable any organisation to propose to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) a new way of delivering any of its services.

We thought this was a good opportunity to work with the DWP to pilot the Community Allowance. We developed a Right to Bid proposal for a £2.2 million pilot programme in 15 areas across the UK.

You can read the detail of what we wanted to achieve in our Right to Bid proposal that we sent to DWP in January 2009.

In April 2009 they asked us a number of questions about our proposal, you can read our answers here.

In July 2009 they called us to a meeting where they informed us that the Right to Bid process was looking for much smaller scale pilots. They also said that the outgoing Secretary of State, James Purnell MP, had made it clear that the Community Allowance could not be piloted for people on Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance.

They rejected our bid but asked us to submit another proposal for a smaller scale pilot operating in 3 areas anywhere in the UK. They also said our bid would stand a greater chance of success if we restricted the people who could participate to those who are on Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance.

We asked all the organisations that had already expressed an interest in piloting the Community Allowance if they would be prepared to go ahead on that basis and over 30 organisations said they would.

Aims of pilots:

  • To test the feasibility and impact of the Community Allowance on participants and their communities in a range of settings across the UK
  • To capture learning and evidence that could inform further development of the Community Allowance to people on other benefits (e.g. Income Support and Job Seekers Allowance)

Want to be involved in the pilot programme?

We are looking for community organisations from across the UK that are interested in becoming a partner with CREATE in order to run the Community Allowance. We would like to work with organisations that are:

  • Local community based charity, social enterprise or community interest company
  • Trusted locally, with a track record of working with ‘hard to reach’ people
  • Capacity and skills to support the Community Allowance participants
  • Ability to generate local paid work (e.g. community research or youth work) or identify and place people in paid work that strengthens their neighbourhood (e.g. School Crossing Patrol)

We’d like these pilots to be in a range of rural and urban areas. In each area we anticipate identifying and working with one or more partners, each of whom would recruit, employ and support people. We have estimated that in each area the Community Allowance could create around 80 part time jobs.

If you wish to develop a proposal for how your organisation would deliver a Community Allowance pilot programme in your area, please download this proposal form and guidance notes. Completed forms need to be back to the CREATE Consortium by 5pm on 1st October 2009.

Type of Jobs: Eligible jobs on the Community Allowance would be restricted to those that contribute to strengthening the neighbourhood. This would be defined and refined by the CREATE Consortium over the duration of the pilots through dialogue with the CREATE partners.

Real Time Evaluation: The CREATE Consortium will contract with an independent evaluator to carry out a real time evaluation of the pilot programme.