Advice and Advocacy

Despite fears that the Advice Centre service would completely collapse without funding it has survived another year. The fact that the RWA is still able to offer this valued and essential service is thanks solely to the dedication and hard work of the

The model adopted by the RWA appreciated by its clients does not meet the expectations of many funders who want to see closer collaborative working with other advice providing services and higher levels of staff knowledge and attainment.

We have tried to rearrange our services in order to still deliver the best advice provision we can with the limited resources we have available. We are using this period to reassess how we provide our advice service and how well it meets the needs of our clients.

Competition for the funding of advice services has become increasingly fierce in recent years with the expectations placed upon service providers to demonstrate innovation in service planning irrespective, it often seems, of how successful existing systems are.

It is important to remember that the advice service is not there to make decisions on a service user’s behalf.  It is there to assist clients with understanding the options that are available to them and to assist and empower them in communicating with official bodies and making informed decisions about choices available to them. We are always working to try to improve the service we offer and hope that people will bare with us during this difficult period of continuing reorganisation.

We have great future plans for our advice centre but need support and realistically partner organisation involvement. The plans for the new centre include:

– A new advice provision area which balances the need for staff and client security and confidentiality with a welcoming and pleasant advice environment.

– More specialist trained advice staff.

– An emphasis on a more holistic form of advice provision which concentrates on helping people to help themselves, this will include encouraging clients to tackle problems in their lives that currently prevent them from living independently.

– Closer partnership working with other organisations, the organisation work with other professional service providers to help them to tailor their services to the needs of our clients.

The computerisation of our client records, this will help us to deal more quickly with client problems, increase the security of confidential information and enable us to collect more accurate data for funders.

The provision of surgeries and sessions at the RWA are provided by specialist advisors to cover issues such as debt, mental health, drugs & alcohol, sexual health and homelessness.

Current Opening Times

Mondays to Friday: 10:00-13:00 then 14:00-16:00. General Drop-in Advice Sessions (First come, first served. There may be a long wait for assistance as staff give their time on a voluntary basis and may have other work that takes priority. Sometimes it may be necessary to arrange an appointment for complex issues.)