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Citizens Advice Wandsworth & WCEN receives funding for community centred advice & advocacy

Citizens Advice Wandsworth in partnership with WCEN has won major new funding for a four year project to help people take back control of their lives in Wandsworth.

The Big Lottery Fund has awarded the charity over £470,000 to work in partnership with Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network, community, social and faith networks and groups to provide tailored, community-based advice and advocacy for local people facing a crisis as a result of extreme circumstances.

The project is one of 59 funded across England and will start in July 2016. Support will focus in particular on older and isolated people, people with mental health issues, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, care needs and drug and alcohol issues who are suffering hardship. It will address the underlying causes of crisis through advice on issues such as employment, homelessness, debt, and health problems. Citizens Advice Wandsworth will train community champions to put people in need in touch with the support they need to improve their circumstances and will employ new advisers to help up to 1200 local people during the course of the project.

Our experience is that networks and organizations embedded deep inside our communities are often the first point of contact when people experience hardship. They are best placed to identify those in need but lack may the knowledge or expertise to support or refer people to appropriate services. This is where people currently fall through the gaps. We will harness community strengths in this truly community centred project. It will make a difference by putting rights based advice and advocacy assistance into communities where it is most needed.

A network event was held in November 2015 to inform the project design. A short film was made of the event.

See the Big Lottery Fund’s announcement

The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £33 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded

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