October 2015                          Unsubscribe from this list
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Our Shoreham Centre is moving soon

Citzens Advice Shoreham will soon moving back to Pond Road, Shoreham, but with a difference!

Some of you will remember our old portakabin offices next to the Shoreham Centre in Pond Road. Despite the cold and the occasional furry visitor, our volunteers still managed to give a great service! In 2014 we moved out of the portakabin and Adur and Worthing Councils kindly gave us temporary accommodation at Adur Civic Centre whilst the new Shoreham Centre was being developed.

Our new offices in the new Shoreham Centre will be ready very soon and we hope to be moved in by the end of the year. Our new space will provide a welcoming environment for clients and for both staff and volunteers to work in and we look forward to moving in soon.
The new Shoreham Centre in Pond Road

Be Selfish.

Volunteer for us and increase your happiness.

3 in 5 say volunteering has made them feel less stressed and 4 in 5 believe volunteering had a positive effect on their physical or mental health.

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering for us, please send an email to, or drop into one of our centres.

New MP Visits Citizens Advice Horsham

We were delighted to welcome Jeremy Quin, the newly elected MP for Horsham, to our Horsham Office on 9 October.

Jeremy Quin MP met with Julie Martin, Services Director and Lee Furlong, Client Services Manager together with volunteers and clients and spent time talking to volunteers and hearing about the top issues affecting constituents in Horsham.

Jeremy said:
"It was a real pleasure to visit Horsham Citizens Advice and to be able to thank them first hand for the invaluable services they provide to Horsham residents. People turn to the staff and volunteers of Citizens Advice for assistance over a huge range of issues including Housing Benefits, Pensions and Debt Management. Horsham is also the centre for the whole of West Sussex in providing advocacy assistance for those with a complaint against the NHS.
As an MP, touching base with Citizens Advice is also invaluable as it provides an additional insight into the issues we need to tackle as a Government - and I was able to take away several issues to explore in Westminster."

Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Housing Crisis

John Baker, our Campaigns and Research Volunteer recently contributed to a national report on the housing crisis. Crawley was chosen as one of 8 places in England and Wales that the study focused on, to explore the lived experiences of the housing crisis

This community led research explored the housing concerns of long-term Crawley residents, and particularly their fears for younger generations as house prices and rents continue to rise, meaning that much of the housing stock in Crawley is stretching beyond the reach of younger people

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice nationally said:
"We could not have completed the challenging research project without your valuable contribution. I would like to offer you my thanks. I would particularly like to commend John Baker for his part in researching the long term housing consequences of new town planning and development in Crawley"

Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Housing Crisis: The Full Report 

Service news

Updating our image

Citizens Advice is a household name. We’re recognised, respected and trusted. Every year, millions of people turn to us – and they are overwhelmingly positive about the help we give them.

But there are others we don’t reach. They may have heard of Citizens Advice, but are confused about what we do, and whether we can help. Are we one organisation, or many? Are we part of government? What kind of issues can we help with?

We may be well recognised, but we are poorly understood. That’s why we are refreshing our brand to bring it in line with our modern service. So everyone knows who we are and how we can help.

What does this mean for the Citizens Advice Brand?
We have dropped the use of the word 'Bureau'. Research into our brand showed that the word ‘bureau’ made us appear dated, was not widely understood and didn’t reflect the different ways that we deliver advice.

Our logo has been updated to reflect this and we will gradually be updating all of our marketing materials and signage.

Advice Development Network Project Finishes

Our Big Lottery funded Advice Development Network Project came to an end in September.

We sadly said goodbye to two of the team; our Debt Specialist Julian Pazskiewicz and our Welfare Benefits Specialist, Paul Moorhouse. Both have moved on to new and exciting challenges and we wish them all the best in their new ventures.

The project successfully offered training in response to the biggest and most common debt and welfare benefit issues, and trained nearly 400 staff and volunteers across Adur and Worthing.

The project team also trained staff and volunteers from local community organisations to give signposting and assisted information. During the workshops we gave the delegates the tools they need to assist their own clients to take the first steps to solving a problem they may have. 

During the project we worked with new partners such as Shelter, to provide housing advice to our clients and mentoring in housing knowledge to our volunteers. Alongside this we developed a new referral system with Guild Care who offered a home visiting advice services to people aged 60+ who were housebound and in need of advice. This partnership was so successful that both partners saw many more people than they originally anticipated. Despite the project coming to an end Guild Care have committed to continue the home visiting service for a further 6 months, which is great news for those needing the service.

Drop in anytime at the Lancing Information Hub

Our Information Hub in Lancing provides immediate help and access to information about a problem, without the need for an appointment. Friendly Information Assistants are on hand at all times to help people find what they are looking for. Anyone dropping in will be able to access information and services via the internet as well as access a library of resources, guided by our Information Assistants with no initial form-filling or waiting time.

Full advice appointments continue to be available in the Lancing office

The service is open from Monday-Thursday, 9.30am-4pm. Lancing clients who wish to see a Citizens Advice adviser are very welcome to visit our Shoreham-by-Sea or Worthing centres as well, or call 0344 477 1171.

Good Outcomes for our Clients

In Shoreham, we prevented a single parent family from losing their home. Our client was waiting for a housing payment but was facing eviction from the home they owned because arrears had accumulated whilst they were waiting for a decision from DWP. We negotiated with the lender and the lender's solicitors to suspend the warrant which was initially refused. The adviser also queried the housing payment and ensured the client was in receipt of the correct benefit. This enabled the client to clear a substantial amount of arrears and cover the on-going monthly payments. The client is now in a position to remain in her family home and action by the lender has been suspended indefinitely.

In Horsham, we recently helped a homeless client who was fined for travelling on a train without a ticket and was also fined for rough sleeping.  Our adviser took on the case and called London Collection and Compliance Centre and followed up with a letter. After further repeated calls over a long period of time, they eventually agreed to write off £3174.00 as he was a vulnerable client with a mental health issue. 

In Burgess Hill, we helped a client to get a Debt Relief Order to write off debts which had led them to feeling depressed and suicidal. The client's GP recommended they seek help from us. Our advice has helped this client to turn their life around.

In Worthing, our Macmillan Welfare Benefit Advisers helped a client to cope with the assessment form for ESA Employment Support Allowance. This was having an impact on the client emotionally and was causing them immense stress which they felt was having an impact on their symptoms. Our advisor helped the client to make the application and reassured them of what to expect as part of the assessment and the financial entitlements. The client was also supported to apply for further benefits they were entitled to such as Personal Independence Payments and a Blue Badge. The client has now been awarded the benefits claimed and was also referred to the Macmillan Information Centre for emotional support.

Our NHS Complaints and Advocacy Service has helped a client to complain to SE Ambulance Service about the treatment of their husband during a suspected heart attach. The staff concerned did not believe the client and the client ended walking to the ambulance without any stretcher or chair offered. Upon arrival at the hospital the client's husband did in fact go into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated.

The client was supported to write a letter of complaint by a generalist adviser and then support was provided to get a response as soon as practicable.
Clear options were provided in regard to the NHS Complaints process so the client knew what they could do if they were not happy.
As a result of the client making a complaint improvements to the service SECAMB provide have been made. The staff involved have now been placed on customer care training and have been made to reflect on their behaviour.

Fundraising news

Fundraisers Go Ape!

Our intrepid team of fundraisers from across our organisation took to the treetops on Thursday, June 18th, to raise money for our service. A team of brave volunteers and staff took on Go Ape Crawley – a tree-top adventure including zip wires at Tilgate Park. Over all they have raised £800. The team, made up of Jason Mather, Lee Furlong, John Rutherford, Chris Smith, Kate Shillingford, James Davies, Matt West, Dipesh Palana and Nina Kloster Aasen,  you can still donate here.

Chichester 10k Legal Walk

The sun was shining for our 10k legal walk on 8 September in Chichester. Our route took in views of Lavant and followed the old Roman road which is known as the Centurion way. There were some sore feet at the end however that was all made better by the complimentary drink kindly organised by the London Legal Trust.

We took part with over 100 other walkers from Havant CAB, Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice as well as a number of legal firms who's sponsorship will be solely donated and split between the 3 Citizens Advice organisations.

This year's team included Mark Maunde, Tony & Lynda Cox, Ben Dolley, Tariq Bhatti, Sophie Rider and  Mike Link.

Sponsorship is still coming in but we have raised around £450 so far, with much more to come so we hope to smash last year's target!

Round the Island Race

Our Chair, John Rutherford, took part in the Round the Island race, sailing all the way around the Isle of Wight, on June 27th, and has raised £1000 for us. Thank you John!
If you’re taking part in any events or challenges and would like to help local people by raising money for our service, please send an email to Thank you!

Donation from Upper Beeding Council

Our thanks go to Upper Beeding Parish Council who have kindly donated £500 to us towards IT equipment. This vital equipment will give our volunteers the tools they need to continue to give quality advice to anyone who needs it.

ASDA Community Fundraising

We were pleased to be one of the charities of the month at ASDA in June. We have just received £50 in total so thank you for your green tokens!

Getting out and about

Thursday 29 October 2015, 2pm 
Bank Fraud Awareness Talk
Broadfield Community Centre Crawley.
  • Information on avoiding scams
  • Increase your awareness of fraud
  • Staying safe online
  • Bogus calls
We are delighted to be taking part in this event alongside West Sussex Trading Standards and Sussex Police, which aims to make people aware of Bank fraud and scams. This is a free event.

If you have any questions please contact the organisers, Tracy or Viv on 01293 531337.
Copyright © 2015 Citizens Advice in West Sussex (North, South, East), All rights reserved.

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