Friday, 23 September 2011

Camberley on the Frontline of Debt

Frontline in Reading explain how the charity works

Frontline, a successful free debt and benefits advice service in Camberley, is finding it tough to engage local organisations, despite a list of happy clients they have helped over the last 18 months. Although the team are trained volunteers, and Frontline is registered with the Office of Fair Trading, sadly they are not receiving any referrals from local agencies. 

Unemployment has risen across the UK (up 80,000 over the quarter to 2.51 million), the largest increase since the three months to August 2009. In Surrey Heath, which covers Camberley, there were 1,282 people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. Despite this, Charles Bruce, from Frontline says: “Most of our clients are coming from leaflets left in churches, personal references and references given by existing clients. Sadly there have not been any clients referred by local agencies”.

In previous posts, we have highlighted who Frontline are, and the valuable work they do for people in need in Surrey Heath. Many of the 18 clients the Camberley branch have advised continue to require ongoing support due to long running legal cases. Now we can report on the real success stories they have had.  One client wrote: “Just a note  to thank you so much for all the support you have given us over the past weeks. We felt very much less alone after we had our first meeting with you, and do now feel that at least every avenue has been explored . I'm sure there will be the odd darker moments. Still, I think we both now feel quite positive about the future, that perhaps it all might work for good, so to speak. I wish we could find the words to express our thanks for someone who has been willing to give such time and effort to help us see the way through. Thank you”. One extreme case of financial distress was a client evicted from rented accommodation, with no job, and sleeping in their car. Since Frontline got involved, the client is receiving the benefits to which they are entitled, back in rented accommodation, and attending job interviews. Another case was a single parent and teenage child,  who had been sleeping on the floor for fifteen months. All their white goods were about to be repossessed. With the help of St Vincent de Paul in Camberley, and the Lions, they now have sufficient furniture, including beds and appliances. Negotiations are in hand with their creditors.

If you find yourself in difficulties, and need advice, you can contact Frontline in Camberley for free advice in any of the following ways:-

07880 711730 (24 hour message line)

Camberley Frontline, St Paul’s Church Centre, Crawley Ridge, Camberley GU15 2AD