Download a copy of our IPR Annual Review 2017 (PDF)
Welcome to IPR’s Annual Review. As Chair, I’m delighted to report a year of very solid progress in achieving our aims. These include providing essential, specialist advice to well over 2,500 people in acute need. We target our service towards those groups and individuals too often left behind in today’s Britain. Over 75% of our clients are disabled and a high proportion live with poor mental health. We are a multi-channel service and provided advice via our telephone service to over 6,000 individuals in the last year.
As in previous years, we have seen demand for our services continue to increase. This is the result of the deepening of the Government’s austerity programme which continues to squeeze welfare benefits, particularly for people with disabilities. The sheer weight of welfare reforms (including the long awaited introduction of Universal Credit) and rising interest rates threatening to tip more people into unmanageable debt also continues to present challenges to our dedicated and skilled advice teams. IPR is widely and deservedly recognised for its quality and expertise and this has translated into receiving more referrals from other agencies. This is flattering but the specialist work is involved and it takes time to grind through the welfare system; as an organisation we continue to be ever-vigilant about how we use our scarce resources so we maximise our effect on the often marginalised Islington residents whom we serve.
IPR funding from Islington Council has been confirmed until March 2020 which is a tremendous boost to our core advice service. Islington Council must be commended for investing in its advice services at a time when other London Boroughs are cutting theirs. We have continuation funding from Trust for London for the Access+ project working with local BAMER communities. The grant from the Big Lottery Local Sustainability Fund allowed us to put extra resources into fundraising and building partnerships with law firms and others to maximise our reach. We recently secured funding from new sources, notably the NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund, and Henry Smith Charity.
I am very proud to be Chair of IPR but it would an empty position without our wonderful staff and volunteers who together make such a positive impact every day on the lives of our clients. I would like to thank my predecessor as Chair, Tim Aldridge. I would also like to express appreciation for the time committed by fellow Trustees as well as the resources of time and money given by our supporters that make everything possible. Our services are needed more than ever and with your continued support, we can look forward to another successful year!