Client Stories

The number of clients seen, as well as the breadth and quality of advice offered, by ACFA: The Advice Network makes for impressive reading but nothing explains the importance of our work as clearly as from our clients ...

 

Case Study 1 - The Matthew Tree Project

BG is a lady in her 40s, who became homeless 2 yrs ago as a result of escaping a violent marriage. She is working extremely hard to recover from this, and was referred to The Matthew Treet Project (TMTP) by her keyworker at one of the hostels in Bristol. She was really struggling with debt as a result of having to pay various court fines/costs incurred by her children and, as their named responsible adult, has been duty bound to pay them. She also demonstrated to housing services that she is ready to move up to stage 2 housing and has since moved into a self contained unit in a local housing project. By giving her food we have enabled her to continue to pay her debts and prevented further debt. We have also provided help with furniture and crockery. She has also found the support in the FOODStORE from chatting with volunteers very useful and is hoping to start some courses to improve her maths and English, so that her employment prospects improve.

Read more case studies from The Matthew Tree Project here

Case Study 2 - North Bristol Advice Centre

Robert, who is in his mid forties, was diagnosed with cancer. As a result he had to have his leg amputated. He was unable to use a prosthetic limb or a wheelchair as he cannot sit comfortably and is in constant pain. He was required to attend a Work Capability Assessment administered by ATOS because he was claiming for Employment Support Allowance. He was classified as fit for work and put into a work related activity group requiring him to attend work focused interviews at the job centre. He was extremely distressed by this decision. We helped him to appeal the decision and wrote a detailed letter to ESA, explaining Robert's situation. Two weeks later, we had a telephone call from ESA saying they were reconsidering their decision. Within hours, we were notified that ESA had reinstated Robert's claim and put him into the Support Group for 3 years. This acknowledged that he had such severe health problems there was no current prospect of his being able to undertake work or work-related activities.

Read more case studies from North Bristol Advice Centre here

Case Study 3 - Age UK Bristol

Carol and George are both in their eighties, and consulted Age UK Bristol because they had received correspondence from Bristol City Council informing them that their entitlement to Council Tax Benefit had ceased. Worse than that, they were informed that they had been overpaid over a four-year period and were required to pay back in excess of £4,000 or face legal action. Age UK Bristol corresponded with the Council on the Carol and George’s behalf. Eventually, after several months and a great deal of negotiation, the Council accepted that an official error had occurred and agreed to refund the sum paid. Carol and George were very pleased that they didn’t owe any money, and that they received their £4,000 back.

Read more case studies from Age UK Bristol here

Case Study 4 - Avon & Bristol Law Centre

Habane was captured and separated from his wife and child during the civil war in Somalia and believed they had both died. Lucky enough to escape, he fled the country and was granted refugee status in the UK. Habane settled in Bristol, worked for a local business and passed the tests to become a British Citizen. Three years ago he found out that his wife and child were still alive. He also heard that his wife had been pregnant when they had been forced apart, but when he applied to the Home Office for permission for his family to join him, the Home Office refused. The Law Centre helped Habane to prepare an appeal against the Home Office decision and instructed a barrister to represent him at the Tribunal. The appeal was successful and Habane’s wife and children are now allowed to join him in Bristol. 

Read more case studies from Avon & Bristol Law Centre here

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