Welcome (09.01.2019)

Another new member of staff! We are delighted to have Michael Ledward join us in the role of Digital Support Worker. Michael will be providing digital/IT training for people visiting Barton Advice Centre, Agnes Smith Advice Agency, Citizens Advice Oxford and Rosehill and Donnington Advice Centre. This project has been funded by Oxford City Council and aims to give our clients more confidence in accessing online support. We look forward to working with Michael.

Christmas Opening Hours (18.12.2018)

The centre will be closed from 25th.12.2018 and will reopen Wednesday 02.01.2019. There
will be no drop in on Monday 24th December but we will be available for telephone advice on 01865 744165. The first drop in for 2019 will be Monday 7th December.

We would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!


New Member of Staff (06.11.2018)

We are very pleased to welcome Laura Harris-Steers to our team as a welfare benefits caseworker on a partnership project with Headway. Laura started with us on 1st October and following a 4 week induction has now started working with Headway clients providing welfare benefits advice, casework and Tribunal representation. This project has been funded by the Big Lottery. We are looking forward to working with closely with both Laura and Headway Oxfordshire.


Office Shutdown (17.08.2018)

Due to on-going renovations to the Barton Neighbourhood Centre we are having to close our offices the week of the 17th September 2018. This means that there will be no drop in or telephone service that week due to the power being shut down for the whole building. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Phones (21.06.2018)

We are currently having a new phone system installed. This means that our phones may be inactive today at times. Please bear with us, we are sorry for any disruption.


New Pilot Service for Debt

We are currently running a pilot service at the Barton Advice Centre providing a debt drop in every two weeks. This means Oxford City residents will be able to see a specialist debt caseworker without the need for an initial appointment and these sessions will cover any aspect of debt.

The service will operate on Mondays between 13:00 and 15:00 commencing Monday 16th April. Further dates for this service are:

 
Monday
30 April 13:00 – 15:00

Monday
14 May 13:00 – 15:00

Monday
28 May Centre Closed Spring Bank Holiday

Monday
11 June 13:00 – 15:00

Monday
25 June 13:00 – 15:00

Please note that if demand is high we may need to restrict numbers.


 

Universal Credit (15.02.2018)

As from today, 15.02.2018 the 7 day waiting period on new claims for Universal Credit no longer exists.

Staff Training

There will be no one in the office on Tuesday 13th March due to staff training on the new Data Protection laws being introduced in May 2018. We will be back in the office as usual on Wednesday 14th March 2018.

Christmas and New Year opening times (20th December 2017)

Barton Advice Centre and Oxfordshire Welfare Rights will close for Christmas on Friday 22nd December and will re-open on Tuesday 2nd January 2018. Our first drop in session for 2018 will be Monday 8th January, however you can receive telephone advice from the 2nd.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

All Change again! (29th November 2017)

We said goodbye to Micheal our Debt Caseworker at the end of last month. Michael has been a very much valued member of our team for the past 10 years and will be very much missed. Enjoy retirement Michael!

We have however said hello to our new Debt Caseworker Gary Horne. Gary will be working here at our centre on a Monday and Tuesday and is experienced in Debt Relief Orders. Welcome to the team Gary.

UNIVERSAL CREDIT (UC) IS COMING TO OXFORD CITY (11th September 17)

Until now only single unemployed people were required to claim UC.

From 18th OCTOBER (nearly) all NEW CLAIMS for means tested benefits for people under pension age will have to be for UC instead of the following which will be abolished:

  •      Child Tax Credit

  •      Employment & Support Allowance – income based

  •      Housing Benefit   

  •      Income Support        

  •       Jobseekers Allowance – income based      

  •       Working Tax Credit

    In addition (or instead of) UC separate claims for the following benefits will still have to be made: 

  •   Employment & Support Allowance – NI contribution based

  •    Jobseekers Allowance – NI contribution based

  •    Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme

HELP WITH UC CLAIMS

UC claims will normally have to be made online. Oxford City council will be providing support for people who need help to make their claim for Universal Credit. 

All Change! (05th May 2017)

We were sorry to say goodbye to Sophie last month who is embarking on a new adventure in Cornwall. We wish her the very best of luck for the future. We say hello to two new members of staff; Mina who started as an adviser on 19th April and Nick who will be starting as a caseworker on 8th May. We look forward to developing our team and continuing to provide the high standard of service our clients have come to expect.

Personal Independence Payment Medical Assessments (07th Dec 16)

We are currently seeing a significant increase in clients being asked to attend PIP medical assessments out of County with one client being expected to travel a 103.2 mile round trip. If you experience this problem you can contact ATOS and request that your assessment be rescheduled at a venue closer to you. Current locations in Oxfordshire are Cowley Road in Oxford, Yarnton, Sandy Lane in Cowley and Witney.

Universal Credit Full Service Rollout dates for Oxfordshire (16th Nov 16)

The Department for Works and Pensions have today announced the 2017-18 rollout dates for UC full service in Oxfordshire.

Oct 17   Oxford City -     Oxford Jobcentre area               

 South Oxfordshire District Council -   Didcot Jobcentre      

     Vale - Abingdon Jobcentre


               

Nov 17 Cherwell - Banbury Jobcentre

West Oxfordshire District Council - Witney Jobcentre (will include SN7 Faringdon area)

             
Dec 17 South Oxfordshire District Council - Reading Jobcentre (RG Postcodes)    



Have you been affected by the issues experienced in 'I, Daniel Blake'? (14th Nov 16)

We are an independent welfare rights unit based in Barton offering free specialist welfare benefits advice and support to residents in Oxford City. We support the kind of people represented in this film and recognise the impact that the welfare reform is having. The film paints a very bleak picture of the experiences failing a work capability assessment can have but there are some avenues out of the situation and we have the knowledge and experience to support you.


If Daniel and Katie had access to a welfare rights unit when they first experienced difficulties things may not have got so bad.

If you are experiencing issues with welfare benefits please contact us on 01865 744165.

 

Changes to the Tribunal Venue (3rd Nov 16)

From 05th December 2016 the venue for appeal hearings will move from Seacourt Towers in Botley to Oxford Combined Courts in St Aldates. Disabled parking is available but must be pre-booked through the Tribunal Service prior to your appeal hearing.

The nearest car park is Oxpens which is next to the ice rink. Please click the link below for details and parking fees.

https://www.oxford.gov.uk/directory_record/344/oxpens_car_park/category/53/city_centre_car_parks


Please note that attendees of the Tribunals Service will need to pass through security at the main entrance of the court. Therefore please leave yourself plenty of time to get there before your hearing.








Oxfordshire Community Work Agency

A Company limited by Guarantee and Registered in England and Wales. Reg. No. 1785651 Registered Office as above. Charity Reg. No. 1049343

Principal funders: Oxford City Council. Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority No.675533

 
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