Free debt and money advice in Roehampton

Published: Friday 8th December 17

Do you need help with rent arrears, or debt from Housing Benefit or Council Tax? Come along to free advice sessions at the Western Area Housing Office, Holybourne Avenue, Alton estate.

Confidential advice is available on issues such as rent arrears; money management; and debt, for example from Council Tax; sales catalogues; loan sharks; store cards or utility bills.

No appointment is necessary, and local people are invited to come along between 10am and 4pm on 27 December; 29 January 2018; 26 February; 26 March; and 30 April, with more sessions to follow.

Those who have used the service have found it very useful. Mr Jones – not his real name – was sleeping on a park bench, with serious medical and mental health issues, when he was referred by social services to the council’s financial inclusion team. 

It turned out that he hadn’t felt safe where he had been living due to receiving threats from some homeless people nearby, and this led to destitution when his employment support allowance ran out. 

An officer from the financial inclusion team helped Mr Jones into alternative accommodation, and to reclaim employment support allowance to enable him to get back on his feet.

The advice sessions are part of the council’s programme of support to help people get on in life through a range of services including financial advice; youth mentoring; employment and training initiatives; as well as cultural and sporting opportunities.

This works in tandem with proposals by the council and partner Redrow Homes to regenerate the Alton estate in Roehampton, with newly-built homes for all secure council tenants and owner-occupiers; a new library and retail area; an improved park; and community hub.

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of the council, said: “Our aim in Wandsworth is to make sure that all local people have the opportunity to help improve their quality of life, and the financial inclusion service plays a vital role in supporting those falling through the net back into security, employment, and good health.”

You can contact the team directly on (020) 8871 6953 or email your enquiry to: financialinclusion@wandsworth.gov.uk

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