Local Language Banks
27 March 2012
Context
• Many advice and information sector organisations are
finding that one of the effects of cuts to funding is that
they are struggling to fund the cost of interpreting
services – even where such services are essential in
meeting the needs of individual clients.
• Hampshire Advice Plus have been able to fund the cost
of commissioning interpreters from professional
agencies for Hampshire CABx for the last two years.
However the funding available for this service ends in
May 2012. We are therefore seeking to establish a more
sustainable method of delivering this service.
Research to date
• HAP invited all Hampshire CABx and all members of the
Hampshire Advice Network to complete a survey to identify client
needs and potential resources to meet those needs.
•The survey results indicate that most organisations responding
would support the establishment of Local Language Banks in their
area.
•This pilot will explore whether it might be possible to establish a
pool of “volunteer interpreters” who would be willing to provide an
interpreting service to local charities and community groups
providing advice.
•If there is sufficient interest in this scheme it will provide an
opportunity for advice agencies to access an interpreter service for
their clients at no cost to the client – and for councils and other
locally based companies to be seen to be supporting their local
community and to offer development opportunities to their staff.
Good practice
• Much of the good practice guidance in this area advises that only
professionally qualified interpreters should be used for the
purposes of interpreting in an advice setting.
• However, feedback to date has indicated that many agencies are
not able to fund professional interpreters (at approximately £80
per session) in the current financial climate.
• Current guidance from Citizens Advice indicates that good practice
in this situation would be to ensure that job descriptions of any
staff who may be asked to perform this role should specifically
include interpretation and translation responsibilities and that
bureaux interpreters should have their skills and training
independently verified
How need is currently met
Languages spoken
Who would the volunteer
advisers be?
• Staff and volunteers currently working for an
organisation delivering advice, information
or support to members of the local
community.
• Interest to date from 8 organisations – with a
joint pool of prospective volunteers speaking
15 different languages.
Timescale
• April 2012 – meet with interested organisations to discuss
practicalities of scheme and implications and opportunities for
organisations.
• Early May 2012 – Meet with interested individuals to discuss
scheme, to identify training and support needs and to establish
programme to meet needs.
• May 2012 - Implementation of training and support programme for
individual participants
• June 2012 - Launch and promote Local Language Banks in identified
areas.
• June 2012 to April 2013 – Co-ordinate and promote scheme
amongst advice and Information sector.
• May 2013 – Carry out evaluation of the effectiveness of this pilot in
improving access to advice for vulnerable and hard to reach clients.
• June 2013 – If successful, explore arrangements for sustainability of
the scheme.
A view from the statutory
sector….
Islam Jalaita
Community Development Officer (Diversity)
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
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