Support

ADVICE NI’S HELPLINES REMAIN OPEN

We will not be providing face-to-face advice or training for the foreseeable future. We will contact existing advice clients by phone. Our staff will continue to support our members and can be reached via telephone and email as usual.

We are working hard to move our training, where possible, to digital. For any queries, please contact our training team at [email protected]

We can only provide advice to people living in Northern Ireland. 

Helpline contact details:

Welfare Changes ring 0808 802 0020 or email [email protected]
Tax & Benefits ring 0800 988 2377 or email [email protected]
Business Debt ring 0800 083 8018 or email [email protected]
Debt Action ring 0800 028 1881 or email [email protected]
EU Settlement Scheme ring 0800 138 6545 or email [email protected]
For Historical Institutional Abuse advice and support call 02890 645919 email [email protected]

Body

To enjoy your home and to help you live independently in later years, you may need adaptations to your property or community care services.

In order to access community care services through your local Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust, a care assessment will be required. The services allocated to you will be based on your individual needs. For information about the types of services available through social services, including how to access and finance them, please visit our Community Care section.

For further information about how you can make your house more comfortable for your everyday needs, visit Repairs, Adaptations and Improvements.

Below we have signposted some great schemes to help you enjoy independence in your home. 

Supporting People Programme

Supporting People is the government programme for funding, planning and monitoring housing related support services. Its aim is to improve the quality and effectiveness of the support services at a local level.

The programme provides housing related support to help vulnerable people to live as independently as possible in the community whether in their own homes or in hostels, sheltered housing or other specialised supported housing.

Examples of the type of support available include:

  • A community alarm service
  • General counselling and support, including befriending services
  • Help to deal with claims, social security benefits and other official matters
  • Advice or assistance with shopping and errands
  • Parenting, cooking and household management skills training
  • Assistance to engage with individuals, professionals and other bodies
  • Help and assistance to manage money e.g. advice on paying bills and form filling 
  • Debt counselling
  • Life skills training

For further guidance or information on how to access this service, visit the Northern Ireland Housing Executive Supporting People Programme.

Age NI’s First Connect Service

Age NI provides the First Connect Service which aims to help and support disadvantaged older people to live independently and improve their quality of life. The service works directly with local people and communities to enable them to assess relevant support and services to meet their needs.

An assessor will visit you in your home and co-ordinate local services or provide you with information to meet your needs.

Housing Support for Older People

Housing Support for Older People provides housing support to older people over the age of 60. It is run by Belfast Central Mission (BCM) and supports people in the South and East Belfast area to live independently in their own home.

The project provides advice and practical support in areas such as home maintenance, home safety, home security and benefits. They can help you access social activities or simply lend an ear if you wish to talk. Support can be offered for periods ranging from 6 weeks to 2 years depending on your circumstances. You can access the project by referral from a community group or hospital based Health and Social Care Staff.

For further information contact BCM Housing Support for Older People on 028 9024 5716.

Centre for Independent Living (NI)

The Centre for Independent Living is a voluntary organisation run by disabled people on behalf of disabled people to help people live independently. The centre provides a range of information and guidance on how to live independently, including advice about direct payments and how to access these.