Citizens Advice H&F – Advice @ Foodbank

Foodbank

Service description

The service is delivered by Citizens Advice Hammersmith & Fulham and funded by H&F Council.  Volunteers train to advise on money, benefits, budgeting, employment and housing matters, and assess further support needs. An adviser specialising in welfare benefits is based at the foodbank to support volunteers, address underlying issues and tackle future food poverty.

Funding until

31 March 2018 

Annual funding level

£60,000

In the past year...

  • 30 volunteers have supported more than 200 residents, with 67 more volunteers recruited. More than half the volunteers went into paid work or full-time study.

Outcomes for residents

  • The 538 individual cases in the past year led to a £125,000 gain in annual income for clients, and £8,626 of debt being written off. The lion’s share of advice (63%) was on tax credits and benefits. Debt made up 15% and housing 9%, with four out of five clients reporting overall improvements in their finances and reduced stress.

Feedback:

  • “I will never forget you for the help and assistance you have given me; you were there when I thought I had no one, you have changed my life and I will be forever grateful to you.”
  • “I value very highly my time as a volunteer, I have improved as a person for it and I have learned a lot about the marginalised in our society. I hope I have been able to help some of them”

Looking ahead:

Citizens Advice H&F teamed up five London boroughs to create a pooled telephone advice service for H&F, Hounslow, Wandsworth, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Merton. A project manager addressed a parliamentary event for MPs about the importance of financial advice, and the foodbank’s work was featured in The Guardian.

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