About Us

Charity Number: 1074557 Registered Company Number: 3626105  
We provide free, confidential and specialist advice, support and advocacy services to the people of Reading who need help applying for – or keeping their welfare benefits. We specialise in: mandatory reconsiderations, appeals and preparation for tribunals. We can also represent our clients at tribunal hearings and argue their cases with the Judge. Our casework tends to be highly complex and time consuming. We coach and guide clients to empower them to be able to complete their benefit forms. We conduct benefits checks and ‘better off’ calculations. We take our time to understand our clients needs, to treat them as individuals and to work with them, however long it takes to help them to receive all the support that they are entitled to. We are engrained into the local communities where we have operated since 1988: knowledge and credibility have been built and our clients have confidence in the skills and experience of our small team of dedicated staff. The demand from vulnerable clients in Reading for help in claiming benefits has been increasing owing to the changing and increasing complex benefit processes and regulations that have left many clients with benefit awards being withdrawn. These clients are often the least able in society to navigate the complex benefits system.  
To meet this need, we are transforming ourselves into a dedicated outreach service; visiting clients in their own homes, in appropriate public places such as Reading Central Library, in cafés and coffee shops (during quiet times) in other charities meetings rooms, such as Launchpad in Reading town centre and other suitable places, such as the Whitley Café on Northumberland Avenue. We do see clients (by appointment only) at our office in Whitley, but our ethos is very much that we should go to wherever our clients are. We understand that the most vulnerable people are least able to reach out – and are certainly least likely to travel to seek help. This is why we sometimes go door to door in communities that have the greatest need. It is why we operate ‘benefit surgeries’ whenever we can to reach out to citizens who would otherwise be left behind. We absolutely understand that we are not the only charity in Reading that works in this way: and we stand in solidarity and respect with all those who share this ethos of putting ‘outreach’ at the heart of what they do.