Welfare Rights Advice Project

Welfare Rights Advice Peer Navigator & Support Project
Hear Us Croydon / Welfare Rights Advice 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 Rights Advice 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

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

The Hear Us Welfare Rights Advice 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 3000 people with 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 means 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 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:

1. Address and resolve immediate financial distress.

2. Support by helping to improve financial security.

3. Increased Social Inclusion (Inc. access to preventative services).

1.  Address and resolve immediate financial distress.

We can help by providing referrals to food banks and help you to make applications to schemes such as Croydon’s Discretionary Housing Payments. We will also help you manage your utility bills and resolve your immediate financial issues.

Examples of what  we can help you with:

Foodbanks Vouchers
Discretionary Housing Payments
Utility Debt and Repayment Schemes


2. Support by helping to improve financial security.

If you have complex needs we can support you to have a better understanding of the Department of Welfare and Pension benefits system, and to support you to maintain the benefit claims.

We want to continue providing a welfare benefits service if you have complex needs to ensure that you are able to obtain the essential financial support required to tackle poverty and homelessness and support you to recover from mental illness.

Examples of what we can help you with:

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Applications
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Applications
Universal Credit (UC) Applications, UC is replacing 6 other benefits with a single monthly payment
DLA Applications
Housing Benefit Applications

We can also help you with:

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

Accompanying you to your assessments and, where necessary,

Tribunals; supporting you to ask for a reconsideration if you receive an unfair DWP decision.


3. Increased Social Inclusion (Inc. access to preventative services).

Support you to access Motability schemes and obtain a freedom pass to combat social exclusion through signposting and support; we can help ensure that your mental health enables you to engage with family and friends and to join in with activities, including volunteering in the local community.

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).

Examples of what  we can help you with:

Applications for Freedom Passes
Mobility Schemes & Blue Badges
Referrals and Signposting for Support from Social Inclusion Services:
Referrals to Employment & Volunteering
Referrals to Groups and Activities
Referrals to Talking Therapies
Referrals to Debt Agencies
Referrals to Job Centres
Referrals to Drug and Alcohol services


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.

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 Rights Advice Project Manager

Shellie Wilfred
Welfare Rights Advice Project Senior Advisor

Barbra Davison
Welfare Rights Advice Project 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 Rights Advice Project are members these Advice Services