The training is provided by myself (Barbara Knight MA, Registered Presenter CPD) with 22 years first hand specialist experience of gaining benefit entitlement at all levels of the benefit system.

I am a freelance welfare rights trainer and I have specialised in the support of claimants with disability related issues. I have a particular interest and specialised knowledge level in the impact and facets of Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance.

I am currently working with a wide range of agencies including Sheffield Hallam University, MP's staff, local councils, third sector agencies including CABs, housing providers and housing support agencies to meet their training needs.

2018 - Sheffield Hallam Univeristy visiting lecturer for both the BA and MA taught social work degree courses.

2012 - 2018 contract to the Houses of Parliament to train MP's staff to equip them to deal with benefit queries and challenge decisions.

In 2014 Provided a series of talks for financial inclusion awareness events in Derbyshire.

2011 -12 Worked with Chesterfield Unemployment Workers' Centre's to help recruit and provide a training programme of 22 courses for the new and existing volunteers and paid staff. Some of the volunteers went on to be representatives at benefit appeals. 

2011 Completed the level 3 award in 'Preparing to Teach' in the Lifelong Learning Sector and am a Member of the Society for Education and Training (formerly Institute for Learning).

I began my career as a Welfare Rights Officer as a volunteer adviser, advocate and representative for the Citizens Advice Bureau and for 13 years worked as a Welfare Rights Officer for Derbyshire County Council. For half of that time I was based in the Erewash social services office maximising the benefits of service users and the general public by advising, advocating and representing their interests. After 6 years I became the county’s Training and Social Policy Officer. I wrote a local news publication on changes to benefits as well as providing a second tier advice service for both County staff and other advice agencies. 

In 2010 I gained the NVQ level 4 in Learning and Development. I completed the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's course 'Identification and Analysis of Training Needs' in April 2011.

I have considerable experience delivering generalist and specialised practical welfare rights training to a variety of audiences including social workers and students (as part of the Social Worker degree courses with Sheffield Hallam University, Nottingham University and University of Derby), Borough Council’s, NHS Primary Care Trust staff, Housing Associations, Women’s Aid, ex-service agencies and a wide range of third sector organisations and voluntary bodies including CAB advisers.

 “Your courses are second to none. They are interesting, intelligently put together and give a real understanding of the benefits involved. You improved my understanding of the way benefits are applied and sanctioned. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Senior Caseworker 

View the list of available courses here!