East London charity Ascension Community Trust today announced the launch of a new advice service, following a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.
The launch follows research undertaken by Ascension Community Trust into the needs of local community in the Custom House area. The research concluded that the area has a higher than average rate of people accessing benefits, that existing local advice provision is greatly oversubscribed, and that many local advice services are currently unavailable to working people.
The advice service will launch on 15 July at the Garden Community Café in Custom House, running on Monday afternoons from 1pm to 6pm. It will operate on a drop-in basis and will be open to all, including working people. Trained advisors will offer advice and advocacy with a focus on benefits and universal credit, housing, employment, money management, and assistance with form filling.
Hannah Tulloch, Chief Executive Officer of Ascension Community Trust, said:
“At Ascension Community Trust, we’ve seen a huge uptick in the number of local people coming to us for advice on a wide range of issues, in particular, because of the rollout of Universal Credit and an increase in the number of working people who tell us they’re struggling to make ends meet.
“We’re very thankful to the National Lottery Community Fund for recognising the support that our Custom House community so desperately needs. Launching on 15 July, our new advice service will be staffed by trained advisors who will offer free, confidential and impartial advice. The service is open to all, including those in work. It will also act as the first point of call for people who aren’t sure where to go for help on other specific issues, so we can direct them to the best place for support.”