Coronavirus Service Update
In order to keep our staff and clients safe, North Bristol Advice Centre is now offering telephone advice only for debt and welfare rights.
To access this service:
1. Fill in an online referral form: and someone will get back to you as soon as they can. Click here to go to our online referral form.
Please send your name, telephone number, address and details of the advice you require and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
3. Call our NEW contact numbers: 07731 842 763 or 07595 047 278
We will take some details over the phone and arrange for an adviser to call you back. If the phones are busy, please leave a message with your name and phone number and we will call you back as soon as possible.
You can also visit the self-help page on our website which has a range of useful resources and links, including up to date Coronavirus information: http://www.northbristoladvice.org.uk/get-advice/types-of-advice
North Bristol Advice Centre has suspended all face-to-face services until further notice. Our Lockleaze office is closed to walk-in enquiries. Please do not call our usual landline number: you will be directed by an answerphone message to call one of the numbers above.
Thank you for your patience. We are committed to providing as much advice and support as we can during this difficult period.
The Citizen's Advice has up to date information on what Coronavirus means for you: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/health/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you/
NHS general guidance on Coronavirus: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Government Guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
The We Are Bristol pandemic hotline is now open at weekends and has a new FREE NUMBER. Call 0800 694 0184 if you are concerned about feeling isolated, getting food, essential items or medicine. The hotline is now open seven days a week (8.30am-5pm, Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm, Saturday-Sunday).
Community Navigator service to continue in North Bristol
North Bristol Advice Centre is delighted to announce that funding has been secured for the Community Navigator service to continue in North Bristol. The new service, funded by St Monica Trust's The Continuation Fund and The Dolphin Society, will launch in April 2020 and be a scaled down service, targeting areas of need in North Bristol.
“We are thrilled to be able to continue this service as the need is so great,” says Sally Gapper, CEO of North Bristol Advice Centre. “The Community Navigators model is unique in offering practical support to lonely older people to help them overcome barriers and increase confidence to get involved in their local area.”
Community Navigators Bristol, which connects isolated over 50s with their community, was a city-wide service funded by Bristol Ageing Better. The funding for this ends in March 2020 and the service is being wound down in central, south and east areas of Bristol.
North Bristol Advice Centre is no longer accepting any referrals into the Community Navigator service in the north to enable us to wind down by the end of March.
Community Navigators North Bristol will launch in April 2020 and will cover Lockleaze, Horfield, Lawrence Weston and Shirehampton. Further information about the new service will be released in March 2020.
New Community Advice Service for North Bristol
New advice services are now available in north Bristol, thanks to additional funding secured by North Bristol Advice Centre.
The Community Advice Service will provide a range of support to help people maximise their income and improve their financial wellbeing. It includes:
Home visits for over 50s:
For older people to help them stay independent in their homes. This could be due to a change in their circumstances, such as ill health or bereavement. We can do a benefits checks to make sure they are claiming all their entitlements; help with form filling (such as benefits forms, blue badge, charity applications); look at ways to reduce household costs; and signpost to local services and support.
>> Covering Lockleaze, Horfield, Southmead, Henbury, Brentry, Henleaze, Shirehampton and Lawrence Weston.
Southmead Advice Appointments:
Weekly appointments to help with benefits queries. This includes explaining paperwork, doing benefits checks, filling out appeal requests or mandatory reconsiderations. Those needing additional, specialist support will be referred into other NBAC services. Booking is essential.
>> Wednesday mornings, The Greenway Community Practice, Southmead.
This popular drop-in to help people to get online and develop their digital skills will now run two mornings per week. Volunteers can help with filling in online forms, claiming Universal Credit, searching for information and jobs and more.
>> Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10.30 – 12.30, The Langley Centre, Lockleaze.
The new services are funded by the Henry Smith Charity over three years. Additional funding from The National Community Lottery is supporting the Get Online drop-in this year.
Appointments can be booked by calling NBAC on 0117 951 5751.
Lines can be busy, especially on Mondays, so if you can’t get through please leave a message with your name and number and we will call you back. Alternatively, you can fill in an enquiry form on our website and we will get back to you.
To view all our appointment times and locations, or fill in an enquiry form, please visit our website www.northbristoladvice.org.uk
Farewell to Joy Langley, NBAC founder and beloved friend
It is with a heavy heart that I write these words about Joy Langley, MBE, a colleague and a dear friend. Joy passed away on Saturday 15th September after a short illness. For over 30 years she was an active and well-loved figure in the local community. Her commitment, kindness and passion for helping others was truly inspirational.
Since the sad news of her death I have heard so many wonderful stories about Joy from so many people. She was with the Community Association for 20 years; part of a joint council of councillors, teaches and local community members; Chair of Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust; and ran the Lockleaze Festival for 10 years. She even brought the Tour de Lockleaze bicycle race to Lockleaze one year! In 2002 she was awarded the Lord Mayor’s medal and a year later received an MBE from the Queen.
For many years, she was supported in her activities by her husband Brian. It is a comfort to us who knew and loved Joy to think of them reunited, side by side once again.
In 1984, Joy was instrumental in setting up North Bristol Advice Centre with Councillor Charles Merrick, Isabel Webley and other committed volunteers. She remained a passionate advocate and trustee for the organisation until the day she died. Asked recently about her role as NBAC trustee she said: “I love being part of the family and the fact that we don’t stay still, we keep moving forward and expanding to help more people” and “I can’t imagine not being part of NBAC.” We can’t imagine NBAC without Joy.
Our love, thoughts and prayers go out to her family as they grieve their lovely mum, grandmother and great grandmother.
Everyone who knew Joy is invited to Canford Crematorium on 8th October 2018 at 12.00 midday to celebrate her life and mourn her passing. Please bring a memory or a photograph to share.
We will be starting a collection for Joy to raise funds for a bench in her honour and to plant a tree in her memory on Gainsborough Square. Collection boxes will be available in NBAC, The Hub and Buzz café.
Chief Executive Officer
North Bristol Advice Centre
Universal Credit & EU Citizens Rights
Tuesday 11 September 2018
The Cameron Centre, Lockleaze, Bristol, BS7 9XB
North Bristol Advice Centre will be holding an information event on Tuesday 11 September at The Cameron Centre in Lockleaze. The morning session will be an update on Universal Credit; the afternoon session will be a briefing on the rights of EU citizens in the UK. A light vegetarian lunch will be served inbetween. This free event is for frontline workers.
Arrival – from 9.45am
Universal Credit Update - 10.00 am - 12.00pm
Information session giving an overview on Universal Credit, how it may impact services users and to clarify concerns about the roll out in North Bristol.
Networking Lunch – 12.00pm – 12.45pm
EU Citizens Rights 12.45pm – 3.00pm
Natasha Lees, from Europe Direct Information Centre at Avon and Bristol Law Centre, will provide an overview of EU Citizens rights in the UK, followed by a Q&A session.
Are You Ready for Universal Credit?
By Drew Huskisson, Advice Team Manager
Click here to download the following information as a factsheet.
Universal Credit (UC) is being rolled out across North Bristol from July 2018. Once it starts in your area, if you are claiming benefits and have a change of circumstances, it is likely you’ll will be moved onto Universal Credit. However, if you do not have any changes, then you will stay on your current benefits until 2021 or 2022.
Check https://ucpostcode.entitledto.co.uk/ucdate to see when it starts in your area.
Remember, Universal Credit is one monthly payment (not fortnightly) and will include your housing costs for you to pay your full rent.
How to prepare to make a Universal Credit Claim
Most Universal Credit applications will be done online (you may be able to do them by phone and, in exceptional circumstances, by Home Visit). You can use a computer, tablet or your smartphone. The application for a single person takes around 40 minutes and just over an hour for a couple.
To make the process easier, make sure you are prepared in advance:
1. Get an email address
You will need an email address to set up your account online. Once set up, you can opt to manage it with your mobile phone as alerts can be sent by text (rather than by email). You can set up an email address for free. If you need help to do this, see below for details of our MoneySmart Online drop-in in Lockleaze.
2. Get a bank or Credit Union account
Universal Credit will be paid into a Bank, Building Society or Credit Union account. It can be paid into a Post Office account but after starting your claim it will be expected that you move to a Bank, Building Society or Credit Union account. You can get a basic bank account or Credit Union account even if you have a poor credit history.
3. Get your ID ready
You will need ID to be able to get your Universal Credit payment. Your claim will go through without it but you will not get paid without your ID being confirmed. Even Advanced Payments are blocked until you prove your ID. This can be done online with gov.uk Verify which is quite quick if you have photo ID already (Passport, Driving Licence etc.). If you need help doing this, our MoneySmart Online volunteers can help, or you can take your ID to the job Centre. If you do not have ID then you can answer questions at the Job Centre to prove yourself (such as children’s names, where you went to school etc.) or you can get verified by a professional such as your social landlord, GP etc.
4. Get your personal details ready
You will need the following information before making your claim:
• You (and your partner's) National Insurance Number
• Your postcode
• Your email address
• Your phone number
• Your landlord's address
• How much rent you are paying
• Your bank account details
• Details of any savings you have
• If working - your expected monthly wage
• Details of any other income you receive
If you need help with setting up or managing your online UC claim, drop in to MoneySmart Online any Tuesday between 10.30am and 12.30pm, at our offices in Lockleaze, 2 Gainsborough Square, Lockleaze, BS7 9XA.
For more information on Universal Credit, click here to view our Self Help Resources page.
You’re never too old to beat loneliness
By Laura Thacker and Gemma Holden, Community Navigators Bristol
We all experience the odd bout of loneliness from time to time. For older people, this can be made worse by the loss of a loved one, missing the social contact of work after retirement or health problems that make it difficult to get out and about.
According to Age UK, there are 1.2 million older people in England who are ‘chronically lonely’. What’s more, loneliness is thought to be as harmful for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It is associated with depression, sleep problems, impaired cognitive health, hypertension, psychological stress and may be linked to dementia.
If you are an older person who feels lonely, there are plenty of things you can do which will help:
Join a local group
There are lots of activities happening in local communities, such as coffee mornings, community choirs, walking groups or art clubs. Well Aware has a comprehensive list --you can look at the calendar of activities or search by keyword www.wellaware.org.uk
Rekindle an old hobby
If you had a much-loved hobby that fell by the wayside, now could be the time to revisit that interest. Or you could even try something completely new!
Volunteer – this is a great way to stay active and meet new people –and share your experience and skills with a local charity. You can find volunteering opportunities on the Do It website https://do-it.org/
Learn something new
Keeping the mind active in older life is as important to health as keeping physically active. The University of the Third Age (U3A) run informal activity sessions, covering hundreds of different subjects https://www.u3a.org.uk/
Get support from Community Navigators Bristol
This is a new service that offers free support and signposting to help older people feel less isolated and get more involved in their community. Community Navigators can take the time to find out what’s important to you and might even visit you at home a few times so they can support you personally. Your Community Navigator will share information about what’s happening locally to help you get involved in things you’re interested in. They can also help tackle any concerns you might have about getting out and about – things like safety, transport or money worries – by linking you up with other community groups and services that can help. And if you’re feeling nervous about trying something new, your navigator can even come along with you the first time to offer that extra support and reassurance.
How to get support
If you are over 50 and you’re feeling lonely or isolated, get in touch with Community Navigators Bristol. You can also make a referral on behalf of someone you know.
For more information visit www.communitynavigators.org.uk
Community Navigators Bristol is run by a partnership of trusted local organisations and is funded by Bristol Ageing Better.
North Bristol Advice Centre are working closely with Southmead Development Trust, Ambition Lawrence Weston, Avonmouth Community Centre and Shirehampton Community Action Forum to deliver the service across North Bristol http://www.northbristoladvice.org.uk/our-services/community-navigators-north