Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth (CAML) is looking for energetic, talented and committed individuals to join its Board of Trustees. At the moment the Board is made up of seven trustees, and we are looking to appoint up to another three people who can bring additional specialist skills/experiences, particularly in communications, charity fundraising and legal. Please click here: https://www.caml.org.uk/trustees/ to read the supporting information and find out how to apply.
Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth is pleased to announce the details of the 2021 Annual General Meeting! Please see the below details and reply accordingly should you wish to attend the meeting.
Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth 2021 Annual General Meeting
Date and time: Wednesday 24th November 2020, 6pm
If you wish to attend, please RSVP Simona Todorova (email@example.com) by Friday 19th November.
Thank you to everyone for joining and supporting CAML’s first Fundraising Week!
We exceeded the £1,000 Fundraising Week fundraising target which is brilliant and we welcomed new friends and supporters to the CAML family.
Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth (CAML) is one of the largest and busiest advice charities in London. The demand for our services and support has always been high. The pandemic, unfortunately, has resulted in thousands more seeking our support (for some services, demand from individuals and families in need has risen 300%). Although COVID restrictions are relaxing, the demand for advice support is still rising and for many clients the impact will last for years.
Few realise Citizens Advice organisations are charities. Our first Fundraising Week had the dual aim of raising awareness of our work and hopefully donations to help us manage the continuing surge in demand for our support. In the words of one of our clients “The support from my adviser and a colleague was great. I was very stressed and they also helped calm my anxiety around the issues.”
If you are interested in receiving information about CAML, our services and how to support us please do not hesitate to contact Simona at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of the charity and our clients, thank you again.
We are excited to announce CAML’s first-ever fundraising week and hope to see all of you there!
Fundraising Week 2021 will take place from Monday 13th to Sunday 19th September. During the week there will be a range of events and activities – including the CAML Quiz World Cup and Open Day – to raise vital funds and awareness about the charity’s work.
The main aim of CAML’s Fundraising Week 2021 is to raise vital funds to let us continue providing a helping hand for families and individuals in need. As a result of the pandemic, demand for our services has increased significantly. The number of clients contacting us has risen substantially, and so has the complexity of their advice needs. The multitude of problems that people face require continuous action and support from our Advisers in order to be resolved. This is why we need your help in order to ensure that we continue providing the crucial and life-changing advice support that people need.
If you would like to contribute to CAML’s first Fundraising Week, you can do so through the following link: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/17699. We are grateful for all of the donations we receive as they are vital to the work we do for people in need. Scroll down for the range of events we will be holding during the Week.
What is on?
Wednesday 15th September – CAML Quiz World Cup
WHAT: Form a team and pit your wits against the brightest and best quiz stars from amongst our communities! Hosted by Brain Men – the Quiz Professionals, the quiz will feature a little bit of everything. It’s still not too late to brush up your pop culture references, geography skills and Olympics trivia!
WHEN: An online event, the quiz will kick off at 6pm on Wednesday 15th September!
WHY: Glory! Fun! And to support CAML!
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: We are asking people to make donations to CAML to take part in the event. The suggested donation is £20 per person, which can be made using the following link: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/17699.
If you would like to enter a team for your organisation, please contact Janine by Wednesday 8th September with the following information:
– Your team name and the name of captain
– Which organisation/department you are from
– Your team members and their email addresses (maximum of 6 people per team, including the Captain)
Please be advised there is limit to the number of teams that can participate, so register your interest ASAP!
Janine will confirm your team’s registration once all your donations have been verified and then forward Zoom details closer to the Quiz.
Any and all questions are welcome. Please direct these to email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday 15 September.
May the best team win!!!
Saturday 18th September – CAML Open Day
WHAT: Join us at our Mitcham office (326 London Road, Mitcham CR4 3ND) for a day of fun and learning more about our work! The event will be open to the public, with a range of activities, where you can:
– Learn more about CAML and our services –
– Visit stalls, including books, toys and the Kids’ tombola –
– Eat some cake, Caribbean food and ice cream –
– Play Advice Games with our Team –
– Help us reach our fundraising goal –
WHEN: The CAML Open Day will be held from 10am to 2pm on Saturday 18th September!
WHY: To connect with the local community and raise awareness of our services!
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Visit us at out Mitcham office at 326 London Road, CR4 3ND on Saturday 18th September! We look forward to seeing many of you there!
Any and all questions are welcome. Please direct these to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to contribute to CAML’s first Fundraising Week, you can do so through the following link: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/17699. We are grateful for all of the donations we receive as they are vital to the work we do for people in need. Thank you for your support and we hope to see many of you at CAML’s Fundraising Week events.
Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth has now resumed face-to-face Information support and pre-booked advice appointments, 10.00am to 3.00pm, from its Mitcham office (326 London Road, Mitcham, CR4 3ND).
These services are provided following Covid-19 social distancing guidelines and best practice.
All our services continue via telephone, video conference and online.
If you have an advice query, please contact us:
- Online query form: www.caml.org.uk
- Merton Adviceline: 0808 278 7831
- Lambeth Adviceline: 0344 488 9625
If you prefer video conferencing or need face-to-face support please let the team member know when you contact us. Where there is an emergency we will do our best to make arrangements for a face-to-face appointment.
The government has announced that the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions has been extended by 6 weeks to 31st May 2021. If you are struggling with rent payments or are at risk of eviction, our advisers can help.
It is a good idea to get help early on to prevent the situation from getting worse. Call our Adviceline for free advice, information, and support on Lambeth 0344 488 9625 and Merton 0808 278 7831.
For more information on how our advisers can help you, visit our Get Advice pages
To help, we have put together some tips on what you can do if you are struggling with rent payments – it might be that you save money elsewhere, increase your income or get extra support with paying your rent.
Speak to your landlord
An important first step is to open a conversation with your landlord – it is always helpful to be clear and transparent about your situation so you can begin working towards a potential resolution. It is worth remembering eviction is often a last resort for many landlords.
If you have lost your job or suffered reduced income due to the COVID-19 then be sure to explain this to your landlord. They may be more accommodating as a result and might be willing to accept reduced payments or work out a manageable payment plan.
See if you could increase your income
If you are currently on low income, you may be eligible for extra money to help you cover your rent and other living expenses. Universal Credit or Housing Benefit are common examples of this. If you need help applying for benefits visit our Get Advice page
You may also be eligible to claim Discretionary Housing Payments if you are claiming benefits but don’t receive enough to cover your rent. For more information on how to apply see: Merton – https://www.merton.gov.uk/council-tax-benefits-and-housing/benefits/housing-benefit-and-council-tax-support/discretionary-housing-payments Lambeth – https://beta.lambeth.gov.uk/benefits-and-financial-support/get-extra-support/discretionary-housing-payment-dhp
Get help with managing debt and budgeting
It may be that the reason you are struggling with rent payments is that you have outstanding debts or are finding it difficult to manage your finances.
If this is the case, please contact us as soon as you can and we’ll schedule an appointment with one of our advisers. They might be able to assist you with getting debts written off, structuring a plan to repay your debts or help with budgeting your finances.
Save money on your energy costs
Saving money on your energy bills can free up finances to help towards paying your rent. Switching energy supplier is likely to save you money on your gas and electricity bills.
If you need help with saving money on your energy costs or finding out if you could be eligible for discounts please contact us.
- If you need advice please call us on Merton Adviceline 0808 278 7831 and Lambeth Adviceline 0344 488 9625
- If you need help claiming Universal Credit please call on 0800 144 8 444
- For online referrals, please go to our website: https://www.caml.org.uk/advice-contact/
- For email queries, please email: email@example.com Please make sure you include your name, postcode and a summary of your query
- For more information about our services see our website
- Or visit us on Twitter @CAMertonLambeth
All the team at Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth
It’s time to complete your census. Census Day is Sunday 21st March. Your answers help build a picture of your community, supporting services like housing, transport and school places. Fill in yours this weekend.
For further support:
Census Support Centres
In London most centres are open to provide phone support and face-to-face appointments. They can help with general census queries, and help people to fill in their online census or paper form. In Lambeth, we currently have two centres operating for physical visit:
The Link, Brixton
The Link, Unit B14. 49 Effra Road, SW2 1BZ
Open 5 days a week for physical appointments. Booking an appointment in advance is required. The centre will also be assisting people over the telephone. Opening hours are currently set at 10am-6pm (Monday-Friday).
Al-Nagashi Mosque & Centre (EMCA)
283-291 Wandsworth Road, SW8 2ND
Open 5 days a week for physical appointments. Walk-ins are accepted at this centre. The centre will also be assisting people over the telephone. Opening hours are currently set at 10am-6pm (Monday-Friday).
Need help completing the census?
From this week every household in Lambeth will receive a letter letting people know how they can take part in the census. This is a once-a-decade survey of England and Wales which helps to support policy making, plan public services and inform where billions of pounds are spent, for example, on roads, schools and hospitals.
Each household must fill in the census by law.
If you need help completing your census questionnaire, there is plenty of support available:
1. The census website – https://census.gov.uk/
- · More information on the census and why it is important
- · Where you can go to complete your census online
- · You can request a new 16-digit access code, if required
- · You can request an individual form
- · You can request a paper form
- · You can find guidance in 49 different languages and in British Sign Language https://census.gov.uk/help/languages-and-accessibility/languages
- · You can request information in braille, easy read format and large print https://census.gov.uk/help/languages-and-accessibility/accessibility
2. Census Telephone Support Centre – 0800 141 2021
- · For any questions you have about the census
- · To complete your census over the telephone
- · To request an individual form or a paper form
- · Relay UK users dial 18001 followed by the phone number
3. Census Language Helpline – 0800 587 2021
- · A free translation service is available to help answer your census queries
4. Lambeth Census Virtual Workshop
- · A series of virtual workshops on how to complete the census form https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/142697940381. Myself and my colleague David will be hosting these sessions every Tuesday and Wednesday throughout March and April.
- If you have any questions, please contact your local Census Engagement Manager:
- North Lambeth – David Gwyther, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @CensusNLambeth
- South Lambeth – Noah Warwick, email@example.com, Twitter: @CensusSLambeth
Three organisations – Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth, Southwark Law Centre and Indoamerican Migrant Refugee Organisation (IRMO) – with the support of Lambeth Council, are working together to support Lambeth residents in the final months of the EU Settlement Scheme Programme.
If you’re a Lambeth resident looking for support in completing a settlement application, please contact Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth via Lambeth Adviceline (0344 488 9625), email firstname.lastname@example.org or online query form at www.caml.org.uk
If your circumstances are complex and require legal support, Southwark Law Centre may be able to assist. If you ring or email Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth (contacts above) in the first instance explaining your need if applicable we can make a direct referral on your behalf).
For Spanish and Portuguese speakers, IRMO provides support in completing settlement applications. Phone: +44 7422 667327 or Email: email@example.com
Cllr Donatus Anyanwu, Cabinet Members for Voluntary Sector and Leisure, said: “We are clear, we want our European citizen residents to stay even though we have left the EU because we value their huge contribution to this borough. We are focussing on ensuring as many people from our diverse communities are able to access the system established by the Government.
“By partnering with well-established local charities with a strong track record of supporting our communities we can help make sure people can secure their rights to stay. We know that for many people applying for settled status will be a straight forward task, but that for some there may be challenges. That’s why we are working to ensure equality of access for all.”
The census is coming on Sunday 21 March 2021.
By taking part, you can help to inform decisions on services that shape your community, such as healthcare, education and transport.
It’s important that you fill in your census questionnaire online. It’s easy to take part, but if you need a little extra help there are a wide range of support services.
There’s language support and accessible census guidance. You can also get help from census staff in the contact centre over phone, in a web chat or on social media.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will send you a letter in the post with an access code and instructions. You can fill your census questionnaire in online as soon as you get yours.
If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let the ONS know.
Remember, if you, or anyone you know, needs help, there’s plenty available.
For more information, visit www.census.gov.uk
We’re providing dedicated advice and support for Pollards Hill area residents who need to self-isolate.
If you’re a Pollards Hill resident, receive a positive test, and worried about financial implications of self isolation, please contact us.
Our Advisers are supporting residents with a range of issues including applying for self-isolation payments of up to £500, welfare benefits, employment advice, foodbank and grant referrals and access to local and national government support schemes.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, postcode and telephone details, or ring 0808 278 7831 (Freephone), 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday
Full guidance for Pollards Hill residents from the Council can be found here https://www.merton.gov.uk/coronavirus/test/local-testing
Many support organisations – including Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth – are closed over the holiday period. Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth services are closed from 4pm, Wednesday 23 December and re-open 10am, Monday 4 January 2021.
The following provides links to support we’re aware of in Merton and Lambeth:
|Merton Covid Community Response Hub||24th Dec-10am-4pm|
25th Dec – Closed
28th Dec – Closed
29th Dec – 10am – 4pm
30th Dec – 10am – 4pm
31st Dec – 10am – 4pm
|Are you isolated, at risk from COVID-19 and need help with any of the following?|
• Support with shopping and basic supplies
• Access to prescription and medication
• Telephone befriending
• Advice and practical help to stay active
• Support to stay independent at home
If you, or someone you know, needs help please call 020 8685 2272 (see holiday period opening times).
|Wimbledon Food Bank||Wimbledon Elim Hours-|
17th Dec- 12pm- 1pm
21st Dec- 11am-1pm
22nd Dec- 12pm- 1pm
24th Dec- 11am- 1pm
Mitcham Commonside Hours-
18th Dec- 11am-12pm
19th Dec- 12:30pm – 1:30pm
23rd Dec- 11am -12pm
23rd Dec- 5pm-6pm
25th Dec- 2nd Jan -Closed
4th Jan – Business as usual
|The best place to attend on Christmas week is Wimbledon Elim as it is the warehouse.|
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday times 12 pm – 1 pm
Address- Elim Pentecostal Church Wimbledon, 76 Kingston Road, South Wimbledon, SW19 1LA
|African Educational Cultural Health Organisation (AECHO) 0208 648 5405||23rd -29th Dec 10am – 4pm|
30th Dec onwards 10am – 4pm
|Provide online and telephone support for those who wish to talk to someone over the holidays.|
|Dons Local Action Group||23rd Dec Collecting and delivering|
24th- 27th Dec Closed
28th-30th Dec Collecting and delivering
|For support over holidays, please email: Craig.email@example.com|
|South West London Law Centre||23rd Dec 10 am – 2pm|
24th Dec 10 am – 2pm
29th Dec 10 am – 2pm
30th Dec 10 am – 2pm
31st Dec 10 am – 2pm
|During those times will be running a skeleton service only so please ring on our main no 020 8767 2777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.swllc.org|
|Polish Family Association||The advice, information guidance including the European Settlement scheme will be open from:|
21st -24th Dec 9am-3pm
28th- 31st Dec 9am -3pm
|Please email email@example.com|
|Lambeth Larder||For other food support and advice||www.lambethlarder.org|
|Lambeth and Southwark’s Emergency Support Schemes||www.lambeth.gov.uk/apply-for-emergency-support|
‘Celebrating Safely’ sessions to be held next Monday.
The sessions will provide information on the ‘Christmas Bubble’ guidance and practical tips on reducing the risk of COVID-19 during the holiday season. To join one of the free webinars on Monday 14 December 2020, 12 noon to 1pm and 6pm to 7pm just drop-in using the links below – no booking required.
This week (16 – 22 November) is National Consumer Week.
National Consumer Week is a yearly campaign which aims to raise people’s awareness of specific consumer issues.
More people are shopping online than ever before—a shift which has been heightened during the coronavirus pandemic. Along with the increase in online shopping, there’s been an increase in the number of problems consumers are having with it. It’s vital consumers know their rights when shopping online and how to be a #SafeShopper.
If you’re looking for advice on what your consumer rights are when buying something online and what you can do if you have a problem, you can find out more on Citizens Advice pages. Citizens Advice can help you be a #SafeShopper online bit.ly/3eodNMF
CA Merton and Lambeth is pleased to announce the details of the 2020 Annual General Meeting. Please see the below details and reply accordingly should you wish to attend the meeting.
Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth
2020 Annual General Meeting
1pm, Friday 27 November 2020,
If you wish to attend, please RSVP Vivian Agyeman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
by Wednesday 25 November.
The London Virtual Carer’s Festival, run by LondonADASS, celebrates the role of carers in the Capital. Last year was a hit and so this year, the festival will be held virtually and will be quick, easy and FREE to join through Zoom.
The focus of the festival is to celebrate and congratulate London’s carers with a fun packed event of comedy, music, art and dance whilst also delivering thought-provoking stories and dementia-friendly virtual walks. All of which are being delivered in partnership with London carers. The programme includes a range of activities including Zumba with Zoe, a live performance by St Michael & All Angels Steel Orchestra, Vocal Eclipse (an award winning group of experienced singers who always leave their audiences wanting more), a range of comedy acts and two thought provoking films ‘I still feel guilty’, an honest look at the feelings of guilt felt by a carer followed by ‘What do you do with a diagnosis of dementia?’ a video diary of “Grandma” who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. You can see the full programme of events on our website. Book your FREE ticket now! You will receive joining details one week prior to the event.
Please contribute to the Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth Strategy Survey
Are we doing enough? What can we do better? Tell us.
As we develop our plans for the next 5 years, we want to first listen to the unique views of our community. This includes those who use (or have used) our services, those who might consider using our services in the future, and those who are our partners, funders and commissioners.
Our new Strategy will provide an important framework for everything we do over the next 5 years – and beyond. That’s why we want to engage with as many people and organisations as possible – to learn from your experiences of our work, our organisation, our people, and our values.
Please tell us what you think our focus and priorities should be for the years ahead by completing the Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth Strategy Survey. The deadline is 27 September 2020.
Volunteering is a positive experience for most volunteers, and as an experience, at its best, is time well spent, according to research for NCVO.
People mainly volunteer locally, in their own neighbourhoods, and the range of activities they get involved in are most commonly relating to organising events, administration, raising money and taking part in sponsored events, and getting others involved.
We have an urgent requirement for a volunteer to support our Head of Advice Services and wider Advice team to more fully participate in agreed Advice services research and awareness raising work.
The volunteer will also support the Chief Executive and Head of Advice Services with specific projects as requested.
For more information go to our Volunteer Page
Hope to see you soon”
A huge thank you to our amazing staff and volunteers who are working and volunteering incredibly hard from home.
We answered over 800 calls to Merton and Lambeth Advicelines
We responded to just under 200 online queries and emails
We supported 135 clients with telephone/online advice appointments
In the words of one of our clients “Please thank everyone who helped me this week. I was losing hope when I rang your number and I’m not now”.
Our first report asked the question: Does having a mental health condition disproportionately affect a person’s eligibility for welfare benefits?
The majority of CAML staff and volunteers who participated in the research reported that clients affected by mental health are disproportionately disadvantaged when it comes to claiming benefits. Our research suggests this problem is most evident in relation to ESA, which was mentioned specifically by 66% of CAML respondents. The problem was also identified by respondents in relation to other benefits including: PIP, Universal Credit, Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Attendance Allowance and Child Tax Credits.
How is ESA experienced by individuals affected by mental health?
Our second report builds on the first and focuses on how employment and support allowance is experienced by those affected by mental health. It includes those with a mental health diagnosis, and the people who support and care for them.
How do those affected by mental health, and those who support them, experience Personal Independence Payments (PIP)?
Our third report focuses on how those affected by mental health, and those who support them, experience Personal Independence Payments (PIP). The report highlights experiences of individuals with a mental health diagnosis, individuals concerned about their mental wellbeing, family members & carers, CA Merton and Lambeth volunteers and advisers/support professionals.