Sometimes life throws you curve balls. Our Advocacy Service is there to help our clients overcome some of the practical challenges that might otherwise make it difficult to access counselling/support.
Mike* was directed to the Advocacy Service soon after his initial assessment. He had long-term health problems and was unable to work. He had no income and young children to care for. He was very distressed and disclosed that he was feeling suicidal. The Advocacy Worker met with Mike and discussed his financial situation. She worked with him to complete an application for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) which was successful. Mike was at a particular high risk from Covid-19 because of his health conditions and had felt terrified to leave his home. As a result of being awarded PIP he could afford to pay for taxis to travel to First Step. He is now very enthusiastically engaging in counselling and attends every appointment.
What can we help with?
Our Advocacy Worker has helped First Step Clients with a range of issues, including:
- Writing letters of support for GPs, housing applications, and benefits reviews
- Writing letters to provide proof of attendance to counselling
- Supporting you to complete benefits applications (e.g. PIP)
- Supporting you to complete the ‘Capability for Work’ questionnaire and other health assessment forms
- Supporting you to register as self-employed and to find courses on starting a business
- Exploring going back to college and completing a college application
- Supporting you to write a CV
- Referring you for specialist legal advice
- Sourcing information about local foodbanks
- Signposting to a benefits calculator