DPULOs, peer support and Access to Work – Expression of Interest


The Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey MP, recently announced further measures to ensure disabled people can benefit from Access to Work.

The Government will also implement a package of measures recommended by the Access to Work expert panel, chaired by Mike Adams from the Essex Coalition of Disabled People (ecdp).

The full notice can be found in the DWP’s pressroom. Further information about Access to Work can be found on GOV.UK.

One of the measures recommended by the Access to Work expert panel is for “Grassroots disability organisations (Disabled People’s User Led Organisations) to look at what else can be done to provide one-to-one peer support to disabled people using the Access to Work scheme”.

This Expression of Interest outlines how you can get involved in this work.

DPULOs, peer support and Access to Work – background

DPULOs currently deliver peer support in areas such as social care and volunteering. Evidence from social care reports show people have more choice and control and flexibility over their care and support through peer-led approaches, including in assessment, care planning and implementation. Formal programmes in health – such as the Expert Patient Programme – are also built on principle of peer support.

We are now keen to look at how peer support can work for people using Access to Work in their local area.

There is a variety of options for DPULOs to deliver peer support activities in their local area which could both complement and supplement support provided through the Access to Work process. These include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

  • Buddying scheme – pairing up individuals with similar impairments / conditions or employment situations who use Access to Work
  • Advice – DPULOs can provide focussed and targeted advice on specific groups, eg people with learning disabilities or mental health conditions, or young disabled people
  • Support – DPULOs could provide support to employers and encourage and up skill JCP advisers to support employers in their local area
  • Workshops – DPULOs could arrange Access to Work workshops with groups of people in preparation for starting work or long-term sick employees returning to work. Workshops would be able to identify what help is available and enable employees to have an opportunity to share learning of what works
  • Other forms of peer support – DPULOs can offer various other forms of peer support, such as one-to-one, on the telephone, or as mentoring in the workplace. Workplace peer support could also be used to enable disabled employees to progress in work and more importantly keep the job.

What we are going to do

Working through the Strengthening Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations programme, we are inviting local DPULOs to put forward their ideas for delivering innovative peer support for people using Access to Work. This can be either a new project, or build on something you are already doing.

We are aiming to start this work as soon as possible. Expressions of Interest are invited below, and will be marked according to the criteria highlighted.

Organisations that are successful at the Expression of Interest stage will be asked to write a full proposal for consideration at a special meeting of the Facilitation Fund Board, which will comprise members of the Access to Work Expert Panel and Ambassadors from the Strengthening DPULOs Programme.

We are looking for around 10 local DPULOs to deliver a project. We anticipate these projects beginning in January 2013 and running for approximately 12 months, including evaluation.

Please note: any DPULO is eligible to express an interest, even if you have already received funding from the Facilitation Fund. The normal Facilitation Fund financial limits will not apply to this work. For further information on this, please contact Rich Watts (details below).

Expressions of Interest

We would like DPULOs to submit a brief (no more than 4 sides A4) Expression of Interest to deliver an innovative peer support project for AtW in their local area.

Your Expression of Interest will be marked against the following criteria:

  • The DPULO’s knowledge, understanding and expertise regarding Access to Work and the barriers individuals face
  • The DPULO’s track record in delivering peer support approaches that result in tangible differences in their local area
  • The DPULO’s idea for an innovative peer support project for Access to Work in their local area
  • The scalability of the proposed innovative peer support project
  • The DPULO’s approach to partnership work in delivering the project
  • The DPULO’s approach to capturing learning and evaluating the effectiveness of the project
  • The DPULO’s capacity to demonstrate the ability to deliver this work over the next 12 months
  • The proposed cost for this project and its value for money.

Expressions of Interest will be considered and marked by the Strengthening DPULOs Programme and members of the Access to Work Expert panel. Shortlisted DPULOs will be chosen solely on the basis of the information provided.

Please submit your Expression of Interest to Richard.Watts1@dwp.gsi.gov.uk by 5pm on Friday 14 December.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Rich above. Similarly, if you know a DPULO who may be interested in this opportunity, please pass this information on to them.

November 2012


#DPULO bulletin extra edition: over £1m awarded to DPULOs, working with commissioners, and Access to Work

Three pieces of good news through the Strengthening DPULOs Programme that I couldn’t wait any longer to share them…

The Strengthening DPULOs Programme has 3 pieces of news that are so good that we couldn’t wait until the end of the month to share them with you!

These are highlighted below. Remember: if you use social media and would like to stay up-to-date on relevant DPULO news, you can find regular updates on our Facebook page and on Twitter using the hashtag #dpulo.

1. Strengthening DPULOs Programme Facilitation Fund passes £1m mark

Over £1.2m has been awarded to more than 80 DPULOs through the Strengthening DPULOs Programme Facilitation Fund since it began in July 2011.

The full press notice is available here.

We have updated the website, guidance notes and application forms to make information about the Facilitation Fund easier to access. You can find this here.

Please do consider submitting a bid soon – we’re keen to ensure the Facilitation Fund benefits as many DPULOs in as many areas as possible!

2. DPULOs Making A Diference: working with commissioners

Living Options Devon – a DPULO in the south west – is bringing together a collection of case studies on behalf of the Strengthening DPULOs Programme to explore how DPULOs and commissioners have worked well together for the benefit of disabled people in their communities. The focus will be on practical solutions and will encourage commissioners to start, or continue, working closely with DPULOs in their area.

We are looking for a range of case study examples for the collection on a range of different topics, and can pay DPULOs £340 for their involvement in the work.

To find out what case studies we’re looking for and to get in touch with us on this, please visit DPULOs Making A Difference: working with commissioners.

3. Access to Work

Some positive changes to Access to Work were announced earlier this week – you can read the full press release here.

In announcing the changes, the Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey MP, also highlighted that DPULOs will be invited to look at what else can be done to provide one-to-one peer support to disabled people using the Access to Work scheme. More information will follow on this soon.

Please feel free to share this update with your networks. The next Strengthening DPULOs Programme monthly bulletin will be sent next week. If you have anything you would like to include in it, please let me know – Richard.Watts1@dwp.gsi.gov.uk.

Strengthening DPULOs Programme monthly update, no.9 (October 2012) #dpulo

This is the ninth monthly update about the Strengthening DPULOs Programme, which aims to ensure DPULOs can provide a strong voice for disabled people by being more sustainable. You can find all 8 of the previous updates here.

There has been so much useful information published this month that this update is a bumper edition of useful links and resources. A special edition of the update – with some good news about the Strengthening DPULOs Programme and about our work with partners on Healthwatch – will follow very soon.

Useful resources

One key part of the Strengthening DPULOs Programme is to share learning and useful resources. Our bumper edition of useful links and resources is below:

If you have any learning or resources you’d like to share or have any resources you’d particularly like, please let us know (contact details are at the bottom of this update).

Find out more about the Programme

To find out more about the Strengthening DPULOs Programme, you can visit our website.

We have 193 “likes” on our Facebook page. If you are on Facebook, can you help us get to over 200? We regularly update the page with lots of information you will hopefully find useful, plus news from other DPULOs: www.facebook.com/dpulos

If you are on Twitter, you can share information and find out more about DPULOs using the hashtag #dpulo.

As always, we’d be grateful if you can spread the word and publicise this news throughout your networks / newsletters / websites etc. We’d also be grateful for any feedback you have on this regular email.

Contact us

For information, biographies, contact details and details of the areas covered by each of the DPULO Ambassadors covers, please visit the Ambassadors page.

If you have any questions about the Facilitation Fund or any part Strengthening DPULOs Programme, please contact odi.businessperformance@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Please feel free to forward this information on to any DPULOs, networks or stakeholders you think might find it interesting. If you didn’t receive the original email, please share your contact details with us so you can receive our monthly emails.