Community support

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Rural areas are beautiful, but for people who are dealing with health issues, caring for loved ones or facing poverty they can be very isolating. A lack of local services and infrequent public transport only makes life harder. Over 7000 people live in rural areas across our Borough and reaching out to them is challenging. One service which visits rural areas on a regular basis is the mobile library, and Citizens Advice Maidenhead & Windsor would like to employ a Citizens Advice Adviser, part time, to travel with the mobile library service to provide advice and support amongst the books. We have agreement from the mobile library service for this partnership project. Our Adviser will also provide home visits for isolated people who cannot access our service any other way because of health issues, carer responsibilities or other challenges.
Our advice removes the barriers which can cause loneliness and can help people to enjoy life more fully – 1 in 2 of our clients experience improved finances; 4 in 5 clients have reduced stress; and 50% feel physically better. We currently support around 50 clients a year at home, and this project will enable us to increase this service with an additional 40 home visits in rural areas where they are needed most.
Last year our home visiting service supported Alice (not her real name) with advice at home. Alice is terminally ill and unable to work, and is mum to two teenagers. Recently separated from her husband, Alice was facing huge financial difficulties and pressure from creditors, and the stress of her situation was having a very negative impact on her already fragile health. Our home visitor helped Alice to receive the benefits to which she was entitled, and also had £11,000 of debt written off by creditors. Over a number of months, our home visitor helped Alice and her two children to feel supported, have more money coming in, less debt and a better quality of life during this difficult time.
We want people in rural areas to feel more supported, less isolated and less lonely, so we will promote this new service through events in community centres and a campaign via posters, community groups, local papers and parish newsletters. Every mobile library book loaned out will include an ‘Advice amongst the books’ bookmark to remind people about our service and how to contact us.
If we win funding from the Aviva Community Fund we will be able to employ an Adviser for two days per week. In one year we will reach 1000 people living in rural areas through this project, offer 48 additional advice appointments, and provide 40 additional home visits to isolated people who can’t access our advice in any other way. Advice amongst the Books will reduce loneliness and help isolated people to enjoy life more, whatever their circumstances.

Citizens Advice Maidenhead & Windsor

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Citizens Advice Maidenhead & Windsor supports around 3000 people each year, with just 8 full time staff and a volunteer team of over 50 local people. They make a real difference and are always

Location: Windsor and Maidenhead, United Kingdom