Information and Advice is an independent service which plays a crucial role in improving the quality of life. It enables people to secure their rights and entitlements, make informed choices about public services and play a full role in their communities and society.
What we've achieved
In 2013/14 the Information & Advice service claimed an estimated £890,000 of money for service users from benefit applications. This financial year has however been unbelievable with a huge £2.4 million of money successfully claimed from benefit applications.
Of this £2.4 million, volunteers in the I&A service have raised around £678,000 which accounts for about 30% of the overall money gained in the benefits service. They have achieved this by giving over 370 hours of their time applying for benefits, in addition to all the time they’ve spent giving information and advice.
Paul Nash, Information & Advice Manager, says “it’s truly been a pleasure to work with all of you and I’m very lucky that I’ve had such a great bunch of people to work alongside. So a massive and genuine thank you”!
What our volunteers say
'I feel that I am doing something really worthwhile and to be honest I get just as much out of it as our clients do'
John is a new volunteer with Age UK South Gloucestershire, joining us in January to be part of the Information and Advice team. He was a young retiree from a large company at just 53, always with the intention of doing some volunteering.
The Volunteer Centre at Patchway, Filton and the Stokes ran an innovative “Speed Matching” event last Autumn for potential volunteers at which many local groups were represented, including Age UK. John went along to the event and picked up details for several groups but was particularly interested in what he had heard about the Information and Advice service offered by Age UK. He applied, was successful, and was really looking forward to joining an organisation with all the support of a national body which he knew would result in a well-run organisation.
John’s induction training was a new venture for Age UK, who had not run anything of its kind for volunteers before. John’s view was of “thoughtful and caring training which I knew was new to them as well but it was very responsive and they took great care to integrate me into the team. I feel well supported and that gives me real confidence when I am out meeting clients. I feel that I am doing something really worthwhile and to be honest I get just as much out of it as our clients do. They are so grateful for our help. The role fitted exactly with what I wanted to do and I am working with a really thoughtful team. I love it and I know that any other training needs I have will be properly assessed and met.”
Our office is normally open from 10:00am to 1:00pm and from 2:00pm to 4:00pm each weekday.
You can also telephone us on 01454 411707 or email us by completing an enquiry form (link below). If we can’t help you directly we can usually put you in touch with someone who can!
Contact us by telephone with your enquiry, or drop into our office in Thornbury to see an adviser. We also have a part-time outreach worker who can visit you in your home (subject to availability). Our resources room contains a wide variety of leaflets and factsheets, many of which are also available to view or download online.