Welfare Surgery Project

Welfare Benefits Peer Navigator & Support Project
Hear Us / Welfare Surgery Project

The Hear Us Welfare Surgery Project was set up in 2012 in response to a growing need for extra support to help the most vulnerable of our service users to claim the benefits they are entitled.

The majority of our clients would struggle to access mainstream support and many face additional barriers in addition to having to navigate an already complex and often baffling welfare system.

We have helped over a 1200 people with a severe mental illness, many need additional support such as help to read their letters or complete forms, due to problems with reading and writing. Others face further problems such as dealing with drug and alcohol abuse, which mean they may face more hurdles, including the prejudices and judgements of others, which make claiming benefits problematic.

Helping people to secure their benefit entitlements enables them to feel more in control of their lives and take part in their communities and can relieve some of the burden of poverty and/or debt that so often leads to a downwards spiral of both mental and physical health. We provide a holistic service, signposting people to other resources in the borough, including Health and Well-being opportunities, Voluntary work and Education and counselling and Talking Therapies.

Two part time staff David & Cheryalin manage our Welfare Surgery Project. We can receive referrals from Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs), GP surgeries, Job centres, Care Homes and Residential Hostels and other voluntary organisations. We also accept self-referrals.

We can help in the following areas:

Making a claims for:

Employment and Support Allowance(ESA) money if you cannot work because of illness or disability

Personal Independence Payment(PIP) replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Universal Credit (UC)is replacing 6 other benefits with a single monthly payment 


We can assist by

Seeking supporting letters/evidence from GPs and mental health teams.

Accompanying people to their assessments and, where necessary,

Tribunals; supporting people to ask for a Reconsideration if they receive an unfair DWP decision.

Applying for Freedom passes and other concessionary transport schemes.

Applying for grants to help with utility (water, gas and electricity) debts – we have successfully had dozens of utility debts written off in the past 3 years.

We have successfully applied to Croydon council to help people who are in arrears with their rent, avoiding eviction in several cases (via the DHP scheme) and to acquire essential items for their homes via the CDS (Croydon Discretionary Scheme).

Hear Us: Welfare Surgery Project

Please call 020 8681 6888, email or complete our referral form if you require assistance with a welfare benefit claim. Please leave your name, a telephone number we can call you on, and a brief detail about the issue. We will respond when we are next available.

Please be aware that we deal we large amount of cases and we may not be able to help you this time but we will be able to give you advice.

David Ashton: Welfare Surgery Project Managers

Cheryalin Wilfred: Welfare Surgery Project Advisor

Hear Us
Orchard House

15a Purley Road
South Croydon

Tel: 020 8681 6888
Mobile: David 07568 408 245 or Cheryalin 07568 407 763



Hear Us’s Welfare Surgeries Project are members these Advice Services