Strapline

The local charity for people who live or work in Wokingham

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ADVICELINE TELEPHONE: 0300 330 1189

We aim to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and to improve the policies and practices that affect people's lives.

We provide free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. We value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination.

Our Wokingham office is open for drop in Assessment Service and Appointments

Monday to Thursday: 9.00am – 3.00pm
Friday: 9.00am – 1.00pm. You can also contact us by telephone or email.

Our Woodley Office is open for drop in Assessment Service and Appointments

Monday: 9.30am – 3.30pm
Wednesday: 9.30am – 3.30pm

Your local Citizens Advice needs your support

Our overall funding has been decreasing for some years and we now need to carry out more and more fundraising events. To be kept up to date with future fundraising events email us on:

event@citizensadvicewokingham.org.uk

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PLEASE NOTE

OFFICE CLOSURES – WOKINGHAM & WOODLEY OFFICES

Our Wokingham office will be closed as shown below.

For Adviser training:

Monday 24th September – closed from 9am, opening at 1.30pm.
Tuesday 25th September – closed from 9am, opening at 1.30pm.
Thursday 27th September – closed from 9am, opening at 1.30pm.

For our Annual General Meeting:

Friday 28th September – closing at 11am. The meeting is at Wokingham Town Hall, starting at 12 noon. If you would like to attend please let us know by phoning 0118 978 7258 or by emailing admin@citizensadvicewokingham.org.uk.

Our Woodley office will be closed as shown below for Adviser training:

Monday 24th September – closed from 9am, opening at 1.30pm.
Wednesday 26th September – closed all day.

Extra help for clients with mental health issues – EXTRA FUNDING!

From the beginning of September 2017 Citizens Advice Wokingham is running a project to provide extra help for people with mental health issues in Wokingham Borough. Using funding supplied by the Berkshire Community Foundation we are providing an extra 4 hours a week of specialist help in debt and welfare benefits. The funding will allow the project to run for 8 months until April 2018. The Berkshire Community Foundation has now agreed to support this project for a further six months. So, it will now run until the end of October 2018.

John Ferguson (Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Wokingham) said “We are very grateful to the Berkshire Community Foundation for this continued funding. We see quite a few people with mental health issues and this funding will allow us to have extra time with them to help them solve their problems with debt and benefits, without impacting the time available for other clients.”

Citizens Advice Wokingham can be contacted by calling 0300 330 1189, emailing public@citizensadvicewokingham.org.uk or in person at Waterford House, Erftstadt Court, Wokingham (Mon – Thurs 9-3, Fri 9-1) or next to the library in Woodley (Mon & Wed 9.30 – 3.30).

Some recent case Studies

Debt

This client had been coming to see us for some months and was being helped and supported by one of our more experienced advisers supervised by one of our Money Advice caseworkers.

The client had many debts, totalling around £18,000 – mainly resulting from him becoming ill and losing his job. He eventually managed to get another job, but his illness meant that he could only work few hours per week. As a result his income was greatly reduced. He struggled to manage everyday life and certainly could not pay anything towards his debts..

Our Money Advice specialist established that he would be a good candidate for a Debt Relief Order (DRO), having total debts of less than £20,000. However, the client could not afford to pay the £90 application fee.

We did not manage to find a charitable trust that would pay the fee. This made him eligible for our ‘client emergency fund’.  This fund uses grant money from both the Berkshire Community Foundation and Wokingham Borough Council. This fund provides money to help out clients that are in ‘dire straits’. Our caseworker (who is also a DRO Intermediary) applied for a DRO for the client which made him debt free and allowed him to make a fresh start without the constant worry over finances.

Disability Benefits

The client has long term multiple health problems including learning disabilities. He had been in receipt of Disability Living Allowance for many years. His health was deteriorating and he was required to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

He was also in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and was in the Support Group, therefore not required to take part in any work related activities. Following a medical assessment, despite his deteriorating health, he was moved to the Work Related Activity Group. At the assessment the assessor was told of several activities that the client had difficulty with, these were not properly recorded and he wasn’t awarded points where he should have been.

We helped the client ask for a mandatory reconsideration of his ESA and helped with the PIP application, both were successful and he is now receiving the benefits he is entitled to.

PIP appeal

The client has severe physical disabilities and had been in receipt of Disability Living Allowance for many years and was now being required to transfer to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

He had already applied for PIP but, following an assessment by the DWP, it was refused. He came to see us and we helped him in asking for a reconsideration of the decision. This was also refused.

We then helped him to appeal the decision, completing the appeal form and advising him on what evidence he needed to get. We helped him deal with all the paperwork for the hearing, ensuring that all medical evidence had been sent to HM Courts and Tribunal Service. We also helped him prepare a statement for the hearing to ensure that he was able to put his case across. We explained the process in detail to the client and his friend who was going to accompany him to the hearing.

He was finally awarded PIP at the hearing, which was backdated to the date of the original claim some 5 months previously.

Our Client’s say

quotes

  • Very good
  • The adviser was very professional
  • Didn’t feel rushed at all
  • What a lovely lady to talk to!
  • Very professional, helpful and courteous, thank you
  • Please thank the adviser; I’m really grateful to her for her kindness and support.

100% of clients said that they would use us again and 99% said they would recommend our service to others.


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We are a charity. Help us to keep changing lives with advice

Without the generous support of people up and down the country, we couldn't continue the work we do.