Citizens Advice Esher & District is delighted to announce that it has secured a £5,000 donation from the Partnership Fund to boost its local advice service.

The grant, which has been made possible through a collaboration between Elmbridge Borough Council and Walton Charity, will be used to provide specialist support to disabled people and to recruit more volunteer advisers for its general advice service.

Chief Executive Linda Wheatley said: “This money is vital to help us provide a much higher level of support to those on disability benefits than we would normally be able to provide. We are seeing a surge in demand for help from Elmbridge residents on disability benefits such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independent Payment (PIP) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA). A team of specialists has been proven to be highly effective in helping our clients get, and keep, the disability benefits they are entitled to.

However, when we give more time to one set of clients it is vital that our other clients do not suffer, so the funding will also help us replace our specialist advisers, and build capacity for the next wave of demand that will come along – and let’s not forget that Universal Credit will be rolled out into Elmbridge in 2018 so we need to be ready for any problems that might generate. “

The grant from the Partnership Fund will go towards training a small specialist team who will major on disability benefits, and also the cost of recruiting and training new advisers to replace them in the general adviser pool of volunteers who are based at the Citizens Advice office in Esher.

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