WELFARE RIGHTS ADVISORY SERVICE
The Welfare Rights Advisory Service element forms a core service provision of the Association. This service
also forms our strategy to tackle poverty that is experienced by over 95% of our members and service users.
The majority of our users and members are from the Bangladeshi community who are experiencing housing
problems, unemployment and poor health. The Welfare Rights Advisory Service is one of the regular services
provided by WBA and the funding from Tower Hamlets Council’s Mainstream Funding has enabled WBA to
continue to sustain this service, where practical help and ongoing support and assistance is available to all
clients. We provide a free drop in and appointment service 5 days a week where information is provided on
a range of issues on welfare benefits and entitlements, housing matters, employment support, debt advice
as well as information about other community and council projects. In addition to the information service the
drop-in offers a confidential non judgemental support on family matters.
WBA provides a confidential support service for people whatever their background, culture or religion. Due
to the large numbers of people experiencing poverty and increasing unemployment rates amongst young
people, the advice sessions have been well used. Changes in social security benefits, implementation of new
Universal Credit, housing policies have contributed towards the difficulties and complexities encountered
by our clients. Language and illiteracy problems create barriers for many of our clients, also the influence of
their backgrounds determine their self-expression. No clients are turned away - where we are unable to deal
with a query, the caller is sign posted or referred to another more appropriate agency. Our translation and
interpreting service means that people are able to understand important letters and other documentations
as English a second language for all our members and users. The majority of our clients confide in us and our
advice usually overcomes these problems. As part of the Association’s commitment to improve the quality of
service and accountability, the Association has successfully retained it’s Advice Quality Standards (AQS) and
Matrix Quality Marks over the years.