Help Through Hardship Crisis and Advice First Aid
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Citizens Advice Wandsworth and Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network (WCEN) are working in partnership on a project to help people in Wandsworth facing hardship crisis. We are providing support to address the underlying causes of crisis through advice on issues such as employment, benefits, homelessness, debt and health problems.
We do this through our experienced caseworkers, by upskilling people in the community (through our Advice First Aid training) to help spot issues and provide information and signposting; and by bringing organisations in Wandsworth together to share learning and refer clients to each other.
We are a team of three generalist advisers and a specialist housing adviser based at our Battersea Library office. We give are experts in welfare benefits, housing, and cost of living issues plus can offer advice on immigration, finance and budgeting. Our referrals are received from our trusted community partners, from Citizens Advice Wandsworth-trained advice first aiders, and internally from other parts of Citizens Advice Wandsworth.
Many of the people we help have complicated issues they can’t solve on their own. Some aren’t fluent in English, some struggle with technology, and others are just overwhelmed. We provide a complete service. First, we figure out what each person needs help with. Then, depending on their situation, we offer information, connect them with specialists, or work closely with them to solve their problems.
Refer to Help Through Hardship Crisis: if you are from a local organisation in Wandsworth and know someone who needs our help, you can refer using the webform here.
Advice First Aid (Wandsworth)
The Advice First Aid (AFA) programme aims to empower local community partners to advise members of their own community directly. The programme is delivered jointly with Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network (WCEN).
The basic AFA training is a two-day training session covering the fundamentals of advice provision, benefits, housing and debt. If you are interested in signing up, please contact Jo Anderson at email@example.com
If you are from an organisation that would like to deliver Advice First Aid trainings, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our conferences and events
We host an annual conference every year with the aim of bringing together community partners, statutory partners and policy makers to discuss issues affecting people living in Wandsworth.
Our most recent conference in July 2023 we focussed on health inequalities in Wandsworth and the link between these and socio-economic factors. We brought together 80 people to discuss how advice and advocacy can help tackle health inequalities.
- 2023 – Enabling Rights and Advocacy to Reduce Health Inequalities (report here).
- 2022 – Looking at the Cost-of-Living Crisis: Working together to reduce poverty and hardship in Wandsworth (report here).
- 2021 – Learning from Service Delivery During the Pandemic (report here).
If you would like to receive information about upcoming events, please subscribe to our mailing list here.
Our partnerships and Refernet
Citizens Advice is eager to connect with local partners who provide support to the many different communities in Wandsworth. We want to support a strong local network, ensuring people experiencing hardship crisis can easily access help during tough times.
We look to collaborate with volunteers, faith organisations, voluntary groups, food providers, activity providers – anyone who works with people who might need our help. We can offer outreach sessions, training for staff and volunteers (through AFA) and invitations to our events to connect with other organisations.
As part of this work, we host an online referral platform called Refernet. Using Refernet partner organisations can easily send secure referrals to each other, to create an easier journey for our clients.
Get in touch with email@example.com if you are part of an organisation based in Wandsworth and would like to connect.