Ealing Advice Service (EAS) offers a trusted advice and support service for all residents across the borough. Supporting a wide section of the local population, including those with additional needs.
Ealing does not have a local branch of Citizens Advice, so EAS acts as an equivalent ‘one-stop shop’ for advice and information on a wide range of issues.
This approach prevents clients from being passed between different advice agencies, and ensures they get advice that is timely, accessible and provided by staff who understand their needs and situation from the first contact.
Ealing Advice Service is part of the Ealing Together coalition and brings together key support agencies from across the borough and is a consortium of 10 local charities led by Ealing Mencap and includes AgeUK Ealing, DeafPlus, Nucleus Legal Advice, HFEH MIND, PESTS, Havelock Family Centre, Family Action and CAIA who administer the Ealing Advice Forum.
The service can advise on many different issues including welfare benefits, housing, debt employment, education, social care, special needs and much more.
‘We are here to help’
There is no drop-in service at the moment because of the current COVID-19 restrictions. Depending on how busy the service is, EAS aims to respond to urgent enquiries in the first 24 hours of initial contact, but it may take longer for non-urgent matters. There is support for clients with sensory impairments and deaf clients who use BSL.
Matthew Coulam is the service development manager for Ealing Advice Service. He explained: “We are here to help. We provide high quality information and advice and our caseworkers and volunteers are well trained to listen to a variety of issues that our residents may be facing. If you are unable to find the information you need on the website, please call and speak to one of our advisers.
“If the issue can’t be resolved by our advisers over the phone, it will be passed on to a case worker or referred to a specialist organisation.”
Ealing Advice Service helps around 6,000 people during a typical year. During the pandemic the service has seen demand fluctuate in response to changes to lockdown restrictions. EAS partners redeployed staff to assist with food deliveries, welfare calls for elderly residents, outreach work with rough sleepers and has also began delivering advice relating to coronavirus test, trace and vaccination programmes.
End of lockdown
The service expects to see demand for advice rise as the lockdown ends and the new financial year begins, with the end of furlough schemes; increasing debts and domestic bills, and suspension of eviction proceedings and bailiff action coming to an end.
“It is important that people get in touch, as some issues need to be referred to specialist agencies early on.” said Matthew. “We strongly advise residents to be proactive and act on debts, bills and rent arrears as quickly as possible and to set up payment plans.
“During the pandemic we have seen an increase in employment enquiries. We can refer to specialists who can help with issues relating to unfair dismissal as well as services that can help with training, job searches and CV writing.
“Housing is another area where we expect to see more requests for help. Unfortunately, we can’t find affordable private rental accommodation for residents although we receive a lot of enquiries about this, but we can advise on eviction, rent arrears, disrepair and social housing matters.
“Over the next few months, we will gradually increase the number of face-to-face appointments and eventually restart drop-in sessions once it is safe to do so. EAS is going to be very busy and there may be times when it is difficult to get through on the phone line and slightly longer waiting times for an appointment, but Ealing’s residents can be reassured that we are here to help while the borough recovers from the pandemic.”
Text enquiries and phoneline open hours
Check the full list of areas the service can advise you on. (include link to the web info)
If you have any questions about the topics listed above you can call 020 8579 8429 or 0300 012 5464.
You can also text your question to 07837 186733.
The opening hours are:
- 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday. The service is closed on weekends and Bank Holidays.
Anyone who has a concern about someone they know who may need advice can refer them to the service via the online referral form on the Ealing Advice Service website
By using the online referral form this ensures that all the vital information needed is gathered on first contact. Alternatively you can also email EAS directly at firstname.lastname@example.org