Who we are
At the Benefits Training Company we believe learning should be fun. We also believe it should be accessible to all, whether you are new to benefits or have many years experience.
We work hard to make sure our courses are the best. Our trainers work collaboratively, observe each other and share good practice so we can guarantee the highest standards.
Training with support
We believe the best training combines a dynamic course with ongoing learning. That is why all our training comes with an inclusive 12 month post-course consultancy service, allowing your staff access to expert support and advice way after the training room door is closed. See what people say about our courses and after-course support.
We offer 12 months because the law governing benefits changes frequently and an annual refresher is essential. So if your staff receive one day of benefits training from us per year, they will never have a benefits related question go unanswered again!
More about us
David Stickland, Trainer / Director
Our courses are designed and overseen by David Stickland, who has delivered over 1000 courses to the advice sector over the last 10 years and is considered to be one of the leading trainers in the field. He has designed and delivered many of the courses on other national programmes including those of Child Poverty Action Group, Advice UK, Shelter, Homeless Link and Gingerbread.
David continues to deliver advice to the public on behalf of disability charity Scope and believes this is an important part of being an effective benefits trainer.
From 1998 until 2003 David worked as a welfare benefits caseworker within Citizens Advice and the independent advice sector in London. Before benefits advice, David trained and worked as an English language teacher and from 2002 David returned to his teaching roots when he joined the London Borough of Greenwich Welfare Rights Service as a Training Officer. He lives in London with his wife, two children and their dog, Dorothy.
Will Hadwen, Trainer
Previously a welfare benefits specialist for Citizens Advice, Will now works for Working Families giving employment and benefits advice to parents, and for Child Poverty Action Group Scotland as a second tier adviser.
Will also contributes to Child Poverty Action Group's Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook, and is a former author of their Child Support Handbook. He has trained for Gingerbread, the single parents' charity, as well as Advice UK and CPAG. He is a regular contributor on benefits issues to BBC Radio 4's Moneybox Live and has appeared on Sky News discussing welfare reform.
Maria Solomon, Trainer
Maria is a welfare rights trainer with 15 years’ experience. She now works for Citizens Advice Bradford as a welfare benefit specialist. Maria has previously worked in solicitors firms, Law Centres and with various other voluntary organisations across the UK.
Sarah Hayle, Trainer
Sarah has been a welfare rights worker for 25 years and is Advice Services Manager for a large independent advice centre in Northamptonshire. This involves specialist benefits casework as well as supporting and managing the advice team. She designs and delivers training to advisors, housing associations, local authorities and voluntary sector groups and gives regular update briefings on welfare reform. Sarah has a degree in Social Policy and in 2014 graduated from the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives Higher Diploma in Law and Practice.
Michael Chambers, Trainer
Michael Chambers is a welfare rights and money advice trainer with 25 years experience. He has provided training for Child Poverty Action Group, LASA, Shelter, Citizens Advice Bureaux, SITRA, local authorities and many other voluntary, statutory and charitable sector organisations. He is a team manager at Hertfordshire County Council's Money Advice Unit, where he has worked since 1992. Michael manages Hertfordshire's training programme, which delivers benefits and money advice training to council staff as well as the private and voluntary sector.
Andy Poole, Trainer
Andy has been a welfare rights worker and trainer for 35 years. He has worked as a welfare benefits adviser, tribunal representative and trainer for Birmingham CAB, Birmingham Tribunal Unit and currently as a Welfare Rights Officer for Wolverhampton City Council. As a trainer, Andy has delivered a wide range of social security courses to organisations across the country including the Multiple Sclerosis Society, St Basil's and Citizens Advice.
Paul Bradley, Trainer
Paul is a caseworker for Perennial, (Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society) specialising in welfare benefits advice. From 2003 to 2015 he worked as a welfare benefits caseworker, trainer and tribunal coordinator for Merseyside Welfare Rights in Liverpool. In 2013 he started the Liverpool Tribunal Advocacy Project in collaboration with the Law Clinic at The University of Liverpool providing useful experience and training in advocacy to law students. He has also provided welfare benefits training for Citizens Advice in Liverpool, The Centre of Lifelong Learning at The University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and The Diocese of Liverpool
Ali Redford, Administrator / Director
Ali Redford has worked in both the public and private sector as an office manager and administrator, mainly in education, PR and marketing. In past lives, she worked as an actor, teacher and events coordinator and enjoys gardening, reading and writing for children.
Victoria Longhi, Administrator
Victoria has worked as a freelance administrator and website manager for the past 10 years. Previously she worked developing and marketing financial software in London and New York. Her free time is taken up with her 2 young children and huge dog, Bear. As a family they all enjoy skateboarding, cycling, climbing and walking. She is a twitcher so generally loves being outdoors looking at nature.