Welfare Surgery Project

Welfare Benefits Peer Navigator & Support Project
Hear Us / Welfare Surgery Project
Advice Quality Standard (AQS)

We hold the Advice Quality Standard, which provides you with the assurance that we have met certain criteria that demonstrate a commitment to quality.

Our Welfare Surgeries Project is funded by the National Lottery and City Bridge and provides peer-run support to help people with mental illness to make claims and maintain their welfare benefits. The funding is providing additional capacity across all areas of their work and a proportion of core running costs and overheads. The project supports people with severe and/or enduring mental illness.

National Lottery Community
City of London: City Bridge

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 client groups we are funded to support are:

People living within the London Borough of Croydon and who have a mental illness

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.

We can help in the following areas:

Making a claims for:

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.

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).

Please call 020 8681 6888, email or complete our referral form if you require assistance with a welfare benefits 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.

Unfortunately Hear Us are unable to take on any new referrals/casework at the moment due to the amount of clients we are currently working with. This means we will not be able to help you with issues such as PIP forms, Universal Credit, Freedom Passes, Blue Badges or tribunals. If you need help filling out a form you could try visiting the Health and Wellbeing Space.

We are really sorry about this situation. This is only a temporary measure and we will be able to take on new referrals by Monday 3rd of April.


If you are in immediate need, we are still able to refer you to a food bank. Please fill out our referral form.

Hear Us are a Charity who supports Croydon’s vulnerable Community, people who have a severe and enduring mental illness.

If you are seeking support with your Welfare Benefits, Employment Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit (UC) or Personal Independent Payments (PIP) or simply need advice please complete our Referral Form

David Ashton 
Welfare Benefits Surgery Manager


Cheryalin Wilfred
Welfare Benefits Surgery Advisor

Orchard House
15a Purley Road
South Croydon
Tel: 020 8681 6888

If you go to voicemail please leave your name and number and the reason for your call


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