Ablewell Advice Centre

On 18 September 2019 I visited Ablewell Advice Centre for its tin and tour event. The Centre provides free, confidential and independent help exclusively for Walsall residents.

In 2018-19, the Centre brought in £1,318,216.07 in additional benefit income for its clients. In this period, the Centre assisted 439 clients with 488 separate inquiries which included 354 welfare benefits, 72 debt, 33 employment (job club), 8 housing and 21 other inquiries.

The 3 main aspects of its service are:

Specialist debt and benefits advice

The Centre provides specialist advice in relation to Debt and Welfare Benefits and offers representation at court and at social security tribunals.

Generalist advice is also available on a wide range of issues, such as housing, employment and consumer law. It also offers a signposting service to other local agencies for areas of law that are outside the scope of its expertise.

Job club and computer skills training.

The job club is open to Walsall residents who are looking for new work, alternative work or training. The Centre runs an initial course of 6-8 sessions covering key skills to prepare you for work, including:

  • writing CVs
  • completing fantastic job application forms
  • using online job search databases
  • how to stand out at a job interview

The Centre offers training in basic computer skills, such as using Microsoft Office packages, accessing the interview and navigating job search databases.

In addition, 1-2-1 tailored support is provided to meet people’s specific needs taking into account personal circumstances, the type of job they are seeking and how long they have been looking for work.

The Centre also runs workshops to help with budgeting and to introduce people to Universal Credit.

Distribution Centre for the Black Country Food Bank

The Food Bank opening times are:

  • Monday 10am – 2pm
  • Wednesday 10am – 2pm
  • Friday 10am – 2pm
  • Saturday 11am – 1pm

In 2016, the Black County Food Bank network helped over 16,000 people in need in the local area.

For more information about Ablewell Advice Centre, you can access its website here.