It was a welcome sight to see so many colleagues from throughout the ACO network at last month’s Annual Conference. Our thanks go out to everyone who was able to join us for what I hope was a productive and informative programme – but just as importantly an opportunity to reconnect with fellow peers and build new relationships. It demonstrates to us that whilst virtual events still hold an important role in our events calendar, there is a real dynamic to face to face events that can’t be ignored!
The economic upheaval of last month’s mini-Budget (which is still reverberating) only served to underline the critical impact that the current cost of living crisis is having on the day to day lives of individuals in already significant financial need. We will continue to look to increase awareness of benevolent/grant-making charities (particularly amongst key referral/advisory agencies) in supporting these groups. In the meantime, we are planning to release a revised guidance on establishing hardship funds, as it is clear there is an increasing demand for information around this option for organisations.