Advice and Guidance
On Tuesday and Thursday mornings a variety of people come to see us in need of help. They might just need a food parcel or a top-up on their gas and electricity meter. They could, however, need on-going support with overwhelming multi issues and need help to break things down into smaller manageable pieces.
Our staff are trained to NVQ level 4 in Advice & Guidance and help people with advice on benefits and their entitlements, housing and being under threat of homelessness, budgeting and grants they may be eligible to for financial assistance. We help with form filling and finding the right information online. We help people to appeal against unfair benefit assessment decisions. We assist people to make appointments and when possible go with them to appointments. We also arrange agencies to meet the clients for appointments at our centre when possible.
We have telephones, free wifi, laptops and a printer available for people to use and we are there to assist with things like job search or universal credit accounts when needed. We help clients to research other help and resources to help them through their current struggles.
We also refer people into our own support groups such as ‘Living Life to the Full’, and we have a network of agencies who refer to us and we refer to them. For example, we refer people to the Housing Solicitor at Citizens advice for legal advice. We refer people to Christians Against Poverty for debt advice. We have built up a large network of other support that we can refer our clients to for further specialist help in the area, and regularly research the help that is available through both statutory and non-profit agencies.