Citizens Advice Edenbridge & Westerham is urging people who are struggling due to the pandemic or otherwise to get in touch on the phone or by email.
Its team of staff and volunteers are ready to answer questions on a wide range of subjects including housing, debt, employment, relationship breakdown and benefits issues.
They are open from 9am to 4pm from Monday to Wednesday but you can leave a message or send an email at any time. On Thursdays and Fridays your call will be picked up by the national Citizens Advice Adviceline Team.
Citizens Advice Edenbridge & Westerham quickly adapted its services to make sure it could support people in the local area throughout the pandemic, even when their offices at the Eden Centre had to close.
They are still able to provide detailed advice and assistance by telephone as well information by email.
New Chief Officer, Sian Hiller, said: “I am proud of how our volunteers and staff quickly adapted to delivering advice remotely. Their dedication has meant we’ve been able to continue giving free, confidential, impartial advice at a time when people need it most.”
Sample client case study:
Ben (not his real name), a single parent, emailed us during lockdown.
He was worried because his housing provider was not responding to his requests for repairs. He had a leaking cistern and the only way to stop this leak was to turn off the water at the mains. It had already caused damage to the bathroom floor. He withheld his rent until the landlord completed the work, but this led to a Notice seeking Possession being served upon him.
He sent us the correspondence between himself and his landlord. We helped him to write a letter to the landlord who quickly sent in a surveyor. We also helped to negotiate having the Possession Notice withdrawn.
While talking, we realised he had a disabled child, and we helped him to claim Disability Living Allowance and Carer’s Allowance, significantly reducing the financial pressure and enabling him to set up an affordable plan to pay off his rent arrears.
One client who recently lost her job commented: “Thank you so much, not just for the helpful explanation of my rights, but also for being there and listening to me at this really stressful time”.
If you need advice you can contact Citizens Advice Edenbridge & Westerham:
• Call FREE on: 0808 278 7962 | • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | • website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk