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Life is complicated so reach out and we can help in difficult times image

Life is complicated so reach out and we can help in difficult times

We aim to connect with those who might not normally get in touch. By Sarah Atkinson.

Karen Wilkins

Date Published: 19 Oct 2021

Life is complicated – we can help.  

We’re part of a network of charities, a community – we provide free and confidential advice. People rely on us because we’re independent and totally impartial.   

During the last 12 months, we’ve seen an unprecedented increase in requests for advice.  

Very much in line with the troubled times we’re living in, the demand for Immigration advice went up by 50% in the past quarter, Debt / Money advice went up by 45% over the year. Housing, Family + Relationships and Employment advice, have all risen sharply too.  

 

We are trusted - and always aim to provide the highest quality advice, advocacy and information service. It’s also vital that we are responsive to prevalent issues in our community, and our service is inclusive and accessible to all.  

 

Meeting increased demands for our help, we’ve even more specialist Advisers, our Kickstart Scheme trainees and dedicated volunteers, working side by side across the organisation.  

We offer more ways for people to contact - and be helped by us; telephone, email, by post, webchat, videocall, by visiting our website and social media platforms where we share timely information and advice. 

Since Covid-19 restrictions began to ease, we are reopening our doors to the public. We operate a safely managed drop-in service and offer limited face to face appointments to our most vulnerable clients, who cannot contact us by phone or email.  

Nevertheless, there are still people in the community who find it harder to connect with us. These are often vulnerable and isolated groups, such as the elderly, migrants, refugees, the homeless or people with limiting health conditions. 

One of our key objectives this year is to strengthen our presence in the broader community and connect with those who might not otherwise get in touch. We are continually building our professional relationships and currently, we are working closely with local groups, fellow charitable organisations and hospitals in the area. 

These collaborations and the continued commitment to developing future Outreach projects, will increase the ability to help more vulnerable or isolated individuals throughout the city. Working together raises awareness, offers people a wealth of knowledge and the benefit of combined specialist experience. This is with the mutual aim to make an even greater difference to people’s lives and wellbeing.  

Most recently, we are excited to have committed to an ongoing collaboration with Friends Without Borders Outreach Drop-In centre. Their service provides support, problem solving and socialising to reduce isolation and social exclusion. Our role is to provide specialist Immigration and related general advice, to refugees and migrants who attend the Drop-In. It’s great news and is proving very successful. 

Our advisers will be at the All Saints Drop-in, All Saints Church, Commercial Road, Portsmouth, every Thursday 10am to 12pm. To book an appointment for Immigration Advice, call Friends Without Borders directly on 07546 502143. Find out more about Friends Without Borders by visiting their website:  http://www.friendswithoutborders.org.uk/.  

Remember, Citizen’s Advice are here for everyone, no matter what the problem.