Published: Friday, 25th March 2022
Three Advice Hub locations will launch in April with further expansion due in the spring.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich is funding the rollout of three advice hubs at community centres in Greenwich Peninsula, Eltham and Glyndon that will offer residents the chance to get free face-to-face welfare benefits and debt advice, at weekly drop-in sessions, from Monday 11 April.
Between 10am and midday:
- The Forum (Trafalgar Road, London SE10 9EQ), starting Monday 11 April
- St Mary’s Community Centre (180 Eltham High Street, Eltham, SE9 1BJ), starting Wednesday 20 April
- Glyndon Community Centre (Raglan Road, London SE18 7LB), starting Thursday 21 April
As the hubs become established the advice on offer will widen to include immigration, housing and more; from May onwards, free meals will also be available.
The new hubs support the existing provision at the Clockhouse Hub, Woolwich Dockyard, on Fridays between 9.30am and midday, which already provides benefits, housing and debt support.
Peabody is also running a new Advice in Community Settings project based in Thamesmead schools, through Greater London Authority (GLA) funding. The project in Thamesmead will also be establishing an advice hub at the Moorings Sociable Club (Arnott Close) on Wednesday mornings between 9:30am and 12:30pm, starting Wednesday 30 March.
The borough has seen an incredible rise in residents needing council services and seeking support to meet basic needs, with the lowest income families affected the most. More than 17,000 meals have been given to hungry children during the school holidays and the local food bank has distributed more than 64,000kg of food since last April.
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of making it as easy as possible for residents to get money, benefits and debt advice from people that they trust in locations convenient to them.
The pilot recognises that poverty and a lack of information can disproportionately affect the health of our residents. Providing advice hubs like these is vital to wider plans to support the most vulnerable members of the community and make sure no resident is confused when trying to find the support they so desperately need.
Later in the spring, additional resources will be given to the Migrant Hub, in Woolwich Common, which currently runs on Tuesdays between 10:30am and 1:30pm.
The Council will also take the sessions to other locations across the borough through roaming hubs to ensure as many people benefit from this pilot scheme as possible.