If you require support completing an online council application, need advice on council matters or could do with some help setting up your online council My Account, Ealing Council has a solution.
Thousands of residents have already felt the benefits of the council’s community hubs, which were set up last year in four of the borough’s libraries. They are in Acton, Northolt, Southall and Ealing.
The hubs are a quick and convenient way to access in-person help and support and, if the trained advisor is unable to give you the answer there and then, they will arrange for someone else to give you a call.
Community hub team manager, Imran Iqbal, said: “Staff are on-hand to give residents the right tools, support and confidence to enable them to self-serve.
“Some residents who visit the hubs face language barriers, don’t own a smart phone or have internet access. or are not able to make online payments Having this localised support means any resident who is struggling to access council services can get help and advice at their local community hub.”
It’s a lifeline
Karen Ramsammy, who works across the four hubs, added: “It’s a lifeline for a lot of people. Some people, particularly those who are more vulnerable, need that face-to-face communication and support. We can also help residents gain access to courses that would benefit them, such as ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) courses.”
On average, more than 1,000 residents visit the hubs every month. The main reason for visiting tends to be for council tax advice and housing benefit enquiries, but there has been a spike in energy rebate queries and access to supermarket vouchers because of the current cost of living crisis.
Councillor Steve Donnelly, cabinet member for inclusive economy, said: “We understand that for some residents, speaking to a member of council staff in person is more suitable than going online or phoning.
“So, we are making sure that a face-to-face service run by experienced and professional staff is always available for those who want to use it, in our libraries. We want our services to be easy to access for everyone.”
The council’s website has useful information and advice around how to access support for the cost of living. Whether at home, or at one of the community hubs, you can see more there.
Where are the hubs?
Visit the community hub closest to your home:
• Acton Library, Everyone Active, Acton Centre, W3 6NE
• Ealing Central Library, Ealing Broadway Shopping centre, W5 5JY
• Northolt Library, Church Road, UB5 5AS
• Southall Library, The Dominion Centre, UB2 4BQ.
Southall and Ealing community hubs are open Monday–Friday, 10am-5pm (closed 1-2pm for lunch). Northolt is only open as a hub on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Acton is open on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Cost of living: Other help
• Work Ealing and Learn Ealing offers support to those seeking employment or looking to improve their skills or qualifications.
• Call Healthy Homes Ealing 0800 083 2265 for advice on how to stay warm, conserve energy, and save money on fuel costs.
• Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) Programme offers activity clubs to keep eligible children entertained in the school holidays alongside a nutritional meal. Find out more
• Free school meals are provided for eligible school aged children during term time. Your child’s school can support you to apply.
• Voluntary and community organisations provide a wide variety of support across the borough. Find out what is available near you.
• There are a number of foodbanks operating around the borough. The council’s Local Welfare Assistance Team or Job Centre Plus can make referrals to local foodbanks – find out more
- Up to date information on all the support being offered by Ealing Council can be found on the council’s website along with help finding support from other organisations as well.
- For further advice call 020 8825 7170.