Sometimes we all need a little help...
Every year, the number of people needing help with problems goes up. In 2015, Westminster Citizens Advice alone reported a staggering 10,095 cases - and many more people struggle on in silence with money, benefits issues, housing or other worries. Every year my staff and I also assist thousands of people with queries and problems. Sometimes this involves direct help or representation, and sometimes we refer constituents elsewhere - for legal or specialist advice (we often get the best results by working together with lawyers or other agencies.)
I am always pleased to hear from constituents and to try and help whenever I can, but given the huge amount of need for help and advice there is, I thought it would be useful to put some of the most useful info (local and national) into an e-mail for constituents to use or keep for future reference.
This doesn’t cover everything by a long way, but it’s a start and please remember it is always better to seek advice early!
Immigration Advisory Service
Westminster Citizens Advice Bureau
We are an independent charity that provides free, confidential and impartial information and advice to the residents of the City of Westminster.
How can we help?
Drop-in Opening Times
|Monday||Tuesday||Wednesday||Thursday||Friday||1st Sat of Month*|
|Beethoven Community Centre
London W10 4JL
|13.30 - 16.00|
|WECH Community Centre
Athens Gardens (entrance via Chantry Close off Elgin Avenue)
|15.00 - 17.00|
|Citizens Advice Westminster
21a Conduit Place
London W2 1HS
17.30 - 19.00
(for employed only)
|09.30 - 12.00|
|Church Street Library
67 Church Street
|10.30 - 12.30|
(Money Matters service from 1pm)
67 Church Street
London NW8 8EU
Wed 10.30am-12.30pm (Doors open 10am)
- you are a low-income family or individual, and
- you are eligible for means tested welfare benefits or other public funds, and
- you live in London
- With any issue that has an element of immigration or fraud
- With family, consumer or criminal matters
Phone: 02072590801 – select option 3.
For enquiries relating to issues with your council tax, welfare benefits and housing, or for advice on how the welfare reform will affect your housing benefits.
Phone: 02072590801 – select option 1
Private Rented Sector Access Scheme
For enquiries relating to moving into rented accommodation.
Phone: 02072590801 – select option 2
Money and Benefits Advice
This summer I took part in a campaign to promote Turn2us and the important work they do in helping make sure everyone claims what they are entitled to. You can see my video clip here.
Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services – online, by phone and face to face through partners and volunteersThe Turn2us website includes a Benefits Calculator to find out what welfare benefits and tax credits you could be entitled to, a Grants Search to find out if you might be eligible for support from over 3,000 charitable funds, and a range of information and resources to help people in financial hardshipTurn2us can also provide direct financial assistance through a range of specific funds that are managed directly by the charity, including the Elizabeth Finn Fund which supports people from over 120 different professions. For more information, please visit www.turn2us.org.uk
Debts are a source of huge worry to people, and can seriously affect mental and even physical health. This is a great website, which you can use to contact an advisor, or to do Debt Remedy, the online debt advice service.
The helplines are open 8am-9pm Monday to Friday and 8am-4pm on Saturdays
0800 138 1111 Freephone (including all mobiles)
Locally, my office, councillors, the CAB, Law Centre and local law firms deal with huge numbers of housing cases, from disrepair to homelessness, but the Shelter helpline is also an important way to get help, including when other services are closed.
- assured or assured shorthold tenancies (eg less than 21 years and where rent is paid weekly or monthly)
- commercial leases (a shop or other business)
- Use the interactive tool on our website. Start by clicking one of the links below to access helpful advice guides that may provide the answer you need:
- I own a flat
- I own a leasehold house
- I am the freeholder or intermediate landlord of a building containing flats
- If you still can’t find the advice you need you can call our advice helpline. To make the best use of your time, make sure that before you call you:
- write down a clear outline of your problem and any questions you have. This can help the adviser help you more easily
- make sure you have relevant documents to hand
- have a pen and paper, as leasehold law can be complicated and you may want to make some notes
Monday to Friday from 9:30-15:00
Heating and Saving Energy
“Independent, expert advice on saving energy in your home”Contact the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 (all you pay for is a national rate call). Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.orgHours for callingMonday to Friday, 9am to 8pm www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
Immigration Advisory Service
Providing some of the most experienced immigration solicitors London has to offer, here at IAS we can help with anything and everything to do with immigration.
Situated in South East London, the Immigration Advice Service office on Borough High Street offers a professional environment for you to discuss your case with us. Our specialist team will expertly review your case and give you dedicated immigration advice and guidance to help you on your way to resolving your immigration issue, or submitting a successful application.
Having the in-depth knowledge, experience and resources to explore all the options open to you and taking the time to listen to your individual circumstance, we are able to fully analyse your immigration matters on a case by case basis and can provide you with the best advice and representation from a dedicated immigration solicitor based right here in London.
You can be assured that with the IAS immigration lawyers in London you will benefit from a professional and thorough service that will follow your needs and requirements closely, ensuring the success of your immigration case.
70 Borough High Street
Tel: 020 3740 4613
Migrant Resource Centre
The MRC offers a range of free services to support migrants, refugees and asylum seekers on their journey towards integration into their host society. By supporting them to develop their skills and understand their rights and responsibilities, we enable them to fully participate in and contribute to that society.
• Promote social justice
• Enable and encourage two-way integration through dialogue, mutual acceptance and respectTo achieve this we offer:• Specialist immigration and asylum advice
• General information and advice
• Employment, education and training advice and support
• Information on accessing health services
Head Office:Migrants Resource Centre
56 Eccleston Square
SW1V 1PHGeneral enquiries
0207 834 2505
- Listen to your concerns, suggestions or queries
- Help sort out problems quickly on your behalf
- Put you in touch with other sources of help
- Feedback issues to our organisation to improve services and patient experience
- Advise you on how to request copies of medical records
- Email email@example.com: use this email address to raise concerns and give feedback on any of our sites or services
- Complete a PALS form: Use this form to explain your concern or give feedback, and provide contact details so we can get in touch with you. You can fill this form in yourself or one of our PALS officers can help you complete it.
- Call or visit one of our PALS offices below:
020 3313 0088, Monday to Friday, 09.30-17.00. An answer phone system operates at busy times and out of hours. Please leave a message with your name and phone number and a member of staff will call you back.
Walk-in PALS office
Ground floor, main hospital entrance, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Place Road, London W6 8RF
Monday to Friday, 09.30-17.00
There is no walk in office at Hammersmith or Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea hospitals, however you can discuss any issues you have at the PALS office in Charing Cross Hospital.
PALS manager, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Place Road, London W6 8RF
Walk-in PALS office
Ground floor of the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) building, St Mary’s Hospital, South Wharf Road, London W2 1NY. See hospital map
PALS manager, Ground Floor, Clarence Wing, St Mary’s Hospital, South Wharf Road, London W2 1NY
Making a complaint
To make a complaint please email our complaints office at: firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter addressed to:
St Mary’s Hospital
Praed Street W2
Phone 0800 138 3944 to book a free appointment
- you’re aged 50 or over, and
- have a defined contribution pension. These are not final salary or career average pensions.
www.acas.org.uk 0300 123 1100
Issues in the local environment
Westminster Council’s ‘Report it’ page on their website lets you tell them immediately about a number of issues affecting the local environment.
Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour
The Met website allows you to report a number of crimes and find out about crime in the local area.
Have you been a victim of crime?
Westminster Victim Support
Help for Young People
For free & Confidential Help for U-25s By Phone, Email, SMS or WebChat:
The National Youth Agency provides an online information source for young people and all those working with them. It has information about training, education, work, housing, money and health and more. www.nya.org.uk 0116 242 7350
Karen Buck MP
You are also represented by 3 elected councillors in each ward of Westminster City Council - some Labour, mostly Conservative.
Maida Vale, Cllr Rita Begum – email@example.com 0207 641 5371 On the second Thursday of the month 6pm to 7pm at the Maida Vale Estate Office 1 Glasgow House Lanark Road London W9 1QY. On the third Saturday of each month from 11am to 12 Midday at the Paddington Recreational Ground Cafe - Randolph Avenue London W9 1PD.
Harrow Rd, Cllr Ruth Bush – firstname.lastname@example.org, Cllr Guthrie McKie – email@example.com, Cllr Tim Roca – firstname.lastname@example.org - 020 7641 4299 every Saturday between 11am and 12 noon at The Stowe Centre, 258 Harrow Road, W2 5ES, and the Beethoven Centre, 3rd Avenue, W10 4JL. Every Monday from 2-4pm.
Westbourne, Cllr David Boothroyd, email@example.com , Cllr Adam Hug, firstname.lastname@example.org, Cllr Papya Qureshi, email@example.com – 0207 219 2330 every Saturday between 11am and 12 noon at The Stowe Centre, 258 Harrow Road, W2 5ES, and the Beethoven Centre, 3rd Avenue, W10 4JL. Every Monday from 2-4pm.
Church Street, Cllr Barbara Grahame, firstname.lastname@example.org, Cllr Aicha Less, email@example.com, Cllr Aziz Toki, Atoki@westminster.gov.uk - 020 7641 4299 Every Tuesday between 5.30-6.30pm and every Wednesday between 10.30am - 12.30pm at Church Street Library, 67 Church Street.
Queen’s Park – Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, firstname.lastname@example.org Cllr Patricia McAllister email@example.com, Cllr Barrie Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org – 0207 641 4299, very Saturday between 11am and 12 noon at The Stowe Centre, 258 Harrow Road, W2 5ES and the Beethoven Centre, 3rd Avenue, W10 4JL. Every Monday from 2-4pm.
For details of other Councillor’s contacts/surgeries, please contact Westminster Council.
I hope this information is helpful!
Karen Buck MP
Promoted by Robert Atkinson on behalf of Karen Buck MP at 4G Shirland Mews, Maida Hill, London, W9 3DY. The information used to supply this email is for the use of Karen Buck and will not be passed on to any third party organisation.