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Home > Action Zones > Politics and Social Action > 'Signposting' people affected or likely to be affected by benefit changes

faithnet southwest

'Signposting' people affected or likely to be affected by benefit changes


More and more people are becoming aware of the implication for themselves and others of the benefit changes introduced in April 2012, with more to come in April 2013 and other changes due to come into effect in October 2013.

Where to refer people for advice on benefits

Churches and other faith groups frequently come into contact with people who need to speak to someone privately about their entitlement to benefits, how to claim, how to appeal and information about benefit changes that may well effect them. People also need information about debt and money advice. This briefing gives some guidance on where faith groups can get further information and where they can direct people for further advice.

Finding your local Citizens Advice Bureau:

Go to the following link to find your local CAB www.citizensadvice.org.uk

To find out more about the benefit changes, see:

Adding to information on the numbers of people effected

The provision of food banks has increased as a result of the numbers of people increasingly affected by benefit changes and/or the financial downturn, which has reduced their income or resulted in their becoming unemployed. Any information that can be gathered on the numbers of people in need of advice because of these developments, would be very valuable, as indicators of growing need and the need for support.

Local advice networks (see below) will also be keen to know more about the local situation and can use this information strategically.

If you are finding the numbers of people approaching you for money or benefits advice rising, let your local MP know, so they get some information on the extent of the problem.

Contacting advice giving networks

A number of areas have advice giving networks who would be interested in any information you can provide:

Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire:
Advice centres for Avon (ACFA), , 0117 929 2153

Advice Centres for Avon



Bristol City Council Benefits Service



0117 922 2300

Bristol City Council Landlord Services


0117 922 2200

Bristol City Council Rehousing


0117 922 2400

Bristol City Council

Welfare Rights Information



Money Advice Service



Gov (government advice website)



Turn2us (welfare benefits and grants)



0808 802 2000

Cornwall: Cornwall Community Advice Network, Network Co-ordinator - Kim Mundy, Cornwall Council, E-mail: , Tel: 0797 3497 324

Devon: Devon Advice Network - see www.askdan.me/

Gloucestershire: www.adviceglos.org.uk/

Plymouth: Advice4 All, 08448 269 717 or email

Somerset: Somerset Advice Network, www.somersetadvice.net/, Rick Szur (Project Coordinator, Tel: 01823 448953
Email: or

Torbay: Torbay Advice Network
Tel: 01803 207532, Mobile:   07596 153833, Email: