Wealden Citizens Advice (Crowborough) continued to operate throughout the height of the pandemic. Initially all Advisers worked from home but more recently are back in the office. Although we are unable to offer face-to-face drop ins at present, we can offer some booked appointments for clients who find it difficult to receive help over the phone.
The team is always ready to answer questions on a wide range of subjects including housing, debt, benefits, employment, immigration and relationship breakdown issues.
Crowborough Manager, Pauline said “ I am so proud of how our volunteers and staff quickly adapted to delivering advice remotely and how they have continued to help clients throughout the pandemic. Their dedication has meant we’ve been able to continue giving free, confidential, impartial advice at a time when people need it most.”
Disability Form Filling
We have many clients who seek help with completing Personal Independent Payment (PIP) forms (40+ pages) or Attendance Allowance forms. Some have already initially made an application for PIP themselves but have been unsuccessful.
We then help clients to ask for the Assessment to be looked at again and/or to appeal the decision. It is vital to make the best possible application with medical evidence and information from the start. Unfortunately, if initially turned down for the benefit the whole appeal process can take up to 9 months due to DWP volume of reassessments and appeals.
Clients ask us a variety of questions regarding employment issues, pay, holiday entitlement, redundancy, grievances, dismissal.
I started volunteering with the Citizens Advice Bureau in November 2021. Having graduated from university, I wished to broaden my experience and enhance my ability as an adviser to aid my career aspiration of entering into the legal profession.
In time, I hope to complete my training as an adviser with the organisation because the skill set you develop provides you with crucial transferable and interpersonal skills.
I have been well supported throughout my training making the process very enjoyable. So far, I have learnt how to manage the initial client calls through our advice line, navigate the Citizens Advice website and online database (casebook). My next step is to further my training to provide written advice to clients via our national emailing service. I have found the work to be varied, engaging, and rewarding.
It has been an eye-opening experience, not only discovering the larger issues that our local communities are being affected by but also the breadth of involvement the Citizens Advice Bureau provides to their clients. For example, I was surprised to discover the significant role Citizens Advice play in nationally changing policy and regionally campaigning on local issues.
Overall, I have witnessed how integral of a service the Citizens Advice Bureau is to its communities. Therefore, the best part of volunteering at the Citizens Advice Bureau is that it provides an opportunity for you to give something back to your community.
– Pauline Townsend, Manager Crowborough, Wealden Citizens Advice
FREE phone: 0800 1448 444 – Monday to Fridays – 9am to 4pm