NCAN was organically borne out of local charities being able to make in-person referrals between agencies if a client needed further support from a different service. They were able to do this because they were in the same building or close-by.
In 2008, NCAN received funding from the Big Lottery Fund Advice Plus Programme. The funding enabled the Steering Group agencies to strengthen and develop the network of advice agencies in Norfolk, and in 2009, the Referral System was launched.
Since then, NCAN has been able to continuously expand its membership with members across the VCSE and Statutory sectors to give Norfolk residents the support they need when they need it.
NCAN’s purpose sits within its wider strategic aims, which is for Norfolk’s professionals to make fast, accurate referrals to agencies which can offer their clients free, quality assured advice. NCAN aims are to:
- Maintain a strong, effective, and inclusive network of advice agencies by enhancing partnership working and collaboration.
- Improve the planning and resourcing of social welfare advice information, advocacy, and representation to meet the needs of Norfolk residents, particularly those who would otherwise struggle to navigate the multiple and complex systems they face.
- Maintain and improve the quality of social welfare advice, information, advocacy, and representation delivered in Norfolk.
- Enhance the contribution made by advice agencies to strategic objectives both locally and nationally in the areas of social inclusion, tackling poverty, and other multiple, complex system needs.
For all Norfolk residents to feel supported, confident, and able to navigate the multiple, complex, legal systems that modern life demands of them.