Help and advice for residents during the recession

Woking Borough Council understands that the current financial climate is causing some residents real problems in making ends meet. We hope that this page will provide you with links to useful sources of help and advice.

Sources of help and advice for businesses are also available on this website.

Advice and benefits

Our Advice and benefits section provides information on how to get help with your Council Tax and how to claim Housing Benefit. There is also information on exemptions and eligibility criteria for those seeking help.

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Finances

The Directgov website provides useful information on how to beat the credit crunch, including sections on:

  • dealing with redundancy
  • keeping your home
  • budgeting and your finances
  • debt and borrowing money
  • banks, savers and investors.

From this page you can also access links to:

  • finding your way back to work with Directgov and Jobcentre Plus
  • money, tax and benefits
  • home and community
  • employment.

A handy beginner's guide to claiming benefits is also available from the Directgov website, as is the consumer information guide to homeowners' mortgage support.

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Health

Job insecurity, redundancy, debt and money problems can all cause feelings of distress. If your worries about the credit crunch are interfering with your life, get some help from the NHS about how to manage stress.

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Housing

Our Housing web pages provide lots of useful information if you are struggling to stay in your home. Take a look at the following:

  • Housing options - including information on how we can help prevent homelessness, schemes to help you find a home (including Shared ownership and our Private Rented Scheme) and housing options if you are a Council tenant.
  • Rents and benefits - provides information on when and how to pay rent if you are a Council tenant, what to do if you are struggling to pay your rent and how to claim any benefits you are entitled to. There is also a useful list of other sources of help, including the Citizens' Advice Bureau (CAB), National Debtline and StepChange Debt Charity.
  • Landlords and private renting - this section of the Council's website looks at ways private landlords can help increase the number of properties available to rent, through bringing empty homes back into use or by offering us their property through our Private Rented Scheme or Private Sector Leasing Scheme.
  • The Communities and Local Government website provides detailed information on the Government's Mortgage Rescue Scheme, plus information on a wide range of housing related issues.
  • Some residents on low incomes might be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment to help with heating cost during this especially cold winter. You should get this payment automatically but if you think you are entitled to it and have not received it, or require more information, contact your local CAB or Jobcentre Plus.
  • Many energy providers offer heating and insulation grants or subsidies to their customers. Contact your individual energy provider for more details or visit the Carillion website for more information about Warm Front Heating and Insulation grants, or call their freephone number: 0800 316 6019.
  • Actio2n Surrey provides independent energy efficiency advice and a trusted installer network. CAllf ree on 0800 783 2503 between 9am and 5pm, email info@actionsurrey.info or visit www.actionsurrey.org.
  • Homelink is a small, not-for-profit home improvement agency, offering advice, support and assistance to elderly, disabled and vulnerable people who privately rent or own and live in their own property and who wish to repair, improve or adapt it in order to continue living there. Homelink offers a wide range of free advice, including help with applying for grants and other forms of financial assistance.

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Jobs

nextstep provides free information and advice on learning and work. It offers local face-to-face appointments with experienced advisors to help get your career on track. It also runs workshops, covering topics such as CV design, job searching, interview skills, returning to work and career change. Phone 0800 1954 700 to arrange a local appointment with an advisor.

If you are interested in a successful career with Woking Borough Council, please take a look at our Jobs and careers page for current vacancies, as well as how to apply.

You could also try:

  • Surreyjobs for employment in the Surrey area
  • SEEjobs for employment opportunities in the South East
  • Directgov for more information on employment rights, job hunting, training and coping with redundancy.

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Surrey County Council

The Surrey County Council website has lots of information on how to apply for a job, managing your money, plus housing and health service information for Surrey residents.