Catherine Fritz, Crafty Fox Volunteer

“The training I’ve received from Susan Bottomley as part of FAIR has been exceptional. The training is delivered in bite-sized modules of 3-4 hours, each focusing on a discrete topic, with cross references between topics. The materials are well designed and well-structured; they are easy to follow and also provide excellent reference material. Susan’s thorough knowledge of the benefit system, always up to date, is a very important part of the training. She explains the rules and human situations so well, that the information comes to life. I tend to ask questions and Susan always has the required knowledge at her fingertips, often having anticipated the questions that might be asked. The training sessions also provide useful exercises to enable us to apply the information we’ve just encountered. These exercises are so important!  People don’t learn by listening; they learn by doing. I make this statement as a cognitive/educational psychologist.


‘It was very informative. Well delivered. Good course’.

‘This was very informative. Lots of new tips and how to get help. A very good speaker. Thank you’.

‘Reflection of underlying issues. Review of Level 2 resources. Discussion of lots of practical issues. Professionally delivered. Based on extensive knowledge and experience. Very valuable’.

‘Loads of brilliant info. Always delivered clearly. Does not rush ahead. Brilliant’.

‘Finding out about what different groups could offer in Torbay at different levels. Thanks, it was really useful, I feel a lot more confident now’.

Understanding Need & Effective Signposting / Volunteers

‘Good overview of benefits – the complexities and how to know what information is needed’.

‘All was very good – relevant information to use’.

‘Helpful explanation of passporting benefits – how different benefits can overlap/complement each other’.

‘Learning about the ‘legacy benefits’ and how they are calculated was particularly helpful. Also, the ‘Entitled to’ tool. Really useful, thank you!!’

‘The search site for benefits entitlement was particularly helpful. A good session. Explained well’.

‘Information was well organised. Q & A throughout. Sample decision letters. Extremely valuable!

Introduction to benefits



‘Great course! Will look forward to the next one’.

‘Very well explained! Thank you’.

‘Clarification on what consent required for sharing’.

‘Very informative and worthwhile’.

‘Brilliant, well done. Very clear’.

‘Exercises were very helpful’.

‘Working at a good pace. Friendly, clear and enjoyable. Thank you’.

‘Good handout. Well presented’.

‘All the content was helpful’.

Introduction to Debt Advice / Volunteers

‘Good to unpick scenarios of what evidence needs to be investigated and provided’.

‘All information very useful. Good session with time to ask questions’.

‘Helped me to look beyond the questions at the effect on any person for help with their daily living – understanding the issues’.

‘Very interesting, as always’.

‘Trainer very knowledgeable’.

‘All of it was helpful, particularly how to think round the questions. Splendid’.

PIP Training / Volunteers

‘Very informative. Paperwork given out will be very useful. Good course. Lots of useful information to enable us to help clients’.

‘Very complex benefit to cover in a short time – the handouts give us the information we can go through to understand this benefit in greater depth’.

‘Very helpful workshop. A lot to take in!’

‘Understand the difficulties faced by claimants was particularly helpful’.

‘Case studies particularly helpful. Always good’.


Attendance Allowance / Volunteers

‘Case studies were particularly helpful’.

The handouts made it very clear’.

‘Knew nothing about Attendance Allowance prior to this training. Thank you’.

‘I found the case study very useful. Clear and informative. Easy to understand’.

‘Materials were very helpful’.

Employment & Support Allowance
Universal Credit / Volunteers

‘All helpful. Very informative. Very complex’.

‘Cleared away some of the fog around Universal Credit’.

‘Explained very clearly as usual. Great to have time to ask questions’.

‘Good to go through examples’.

‘Handouts clear and concise’. In depth knowledge. Very helpful – related to ESA/other benefits and entitlements’.

‘Informative session. Gave me all I needed advice wise’.

‘Exercises and Q & A particularly helpful’.


Mencap Feedback

The following feedback comments were left by family carers of people with a learning disability. The session was on benefits for carers, with an introduction to Universal Credit and was paid for by Katy Heard, Carers’ and Volunteers’ Lead, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.

‘Brilliant, thank you’;

‘Very enjoyable’; ‘

‘Very good, thank you’;

‘Universal Credit seems a very complex system’; ‘

‘Very informative meeting’;

‘Enjoyed the talk, very interesting’;

‘Very, very informative and helpful’;

‘Very good and helpful’;

‘Very useful evening, thank you’;

‘Very interesting’;