Our advice team continue to make a significant difference to the lives of our vulnerable people. Our work now is to ensure we continue to resource i.e. identify funding, this important service as we are seeing a week on week increase in the number of people coming to our door seeking help with a multitude of problems including finances, homes, repairs, digital challenges etc. But often our clients go away very happy with the support we give them.
For example, this week see how Ms. R, 66 years old single woman received a nice surprise. Ms. R was referred to us by a friend who had received support from us in the summer. She came to us saying she was not receiving any benefits, thought she wasn’t entitled to any, and was having a very difficult time trying to manage. Our advisor told Ms. R, a British citizen that she was indeed entitled to benefits and went on to successfully apply for State Pension and Housing Benefit. What should have been straightforward was very protracted but in November Ms R was informed that housing benefit claim was successful and she was granted the backdate payment worth £2700. So, from living in real hardship and thinking she wasn’t entitled to anything, Ms. R is now feeling much happier and her wellbeing has had a very positive boost. We await the result of a Pension Credit application that our Advisor is currently working on.
Advisors are sometimes viewed as just filling out some benefits forms and waiting for the results on behalf of their clients. This is only part of a range of supports that our advisors offer e.g. taking the time to comfort often very vulnerable and anxious clients, giving them the time to explain their problems, making phone calls on their behalf, often waiting 90 minutes for DWP to answer the phone, clearing up other related or unrelated issues for the client, and ultimately reassuring the client that we are here for them and will work with them until their problems are resolved. A lot of this work, as for so many advice workers, goes unrecognised and unacknowledged even though it is as important as a successful benefit claim.