Background Information and History of Oxford Community Work Agency (OCWA) - Formerly known as the 'Barton Project'

OCWA is an organisation made up of two departments, Oxfordshire Welfare Rights and the Barton Advice Centre. We are based in the centre of Barton. Barton is in the top 20% of areas of deprivation nationally. We are experts in social security law and provide specialist advice, casework and representation in welfare benefits. We also provide a specialist debt service which has an authorised intermediary for Debt Relief orders. We give generalist advice in consumer, family law, housing and employment. For more in-depth advice in these areas we may refer or signpost to more specialist agencies.

Oxfordshire Welfare Rights

Oxfordshire Welfare Rights (OWR) was originally formed in 1984 to provide a second tier countywide welfare rights service. We are experts in social security law and have significant experience in welfare benefits casework and representation at Tribunal. Clients can access this service through referral from another advice or support agency. In the period 2015/2016, Oxfordshire Welfare Rights generated income of £3,208,366.85 for Oxfordshire residents.OWR provides training and telephone consultancy for other organisations throughout Oxfordshire and for Citizens Advice Hampshire.The principal funders of OWR and BAC have been Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council and we are delighted that Oxford City continue to core fund this service.

Barton Advice Centre

In 1987 The Barton Advice Centre (BAC) was set up after it became clear that an advice centre was needed to serve the community.

The advice centre drop in service is open to all residents living in the OX3 area of Oxford City and is delivered by staff trained in all areas of advice but are specialists in debt and welfare benefits issues. We have a specialist debt worker who is able to assist with Debt Relief Orders.

Advice can be given on our telephone advice line to all Oxford City residents.