Hello – from everyone at Ipswich Disabled Advice Bureau. We hope that you are all keeping well.
Ipswich Disabled Advice Bureau remains closed to visitors and for face-to-face appointments, due to the coronavirus epidemic – and this will continue until the end of July 2020 …… but we are providing our usual services by phone or a video link.
Why is the bureau closed to visitors and for appointments? This is because all of our volunteers, and the majority of our staff, are shielding either because they are vulnerable themselves, or a member of their household is vulnerable. They will not be able to come into the office for another month or so.
In addition, it is very difficult to maintain ‘social distancing’ at 19 Tower Street particularly in the corridors and entrance. And ………did you know that there are four pubs within a two minute walk of our office?…… They will open on 4 July 2020 and this is of particular concern as drinking will take place outside, and not inside, the pubs after they open.
How to contact us ……. Do phone us on 01473 217313 if you need advice or help, you can leave a message on the answerphone. Also, the phone number of any ‘missed’ calls gets picked up via an App that links the staffs’ smartphones to the office phone system. It may take a little longer to get back to you but no calls should get missed.
Alternatively, you can send us an email using the link from this website.
What advice and help can we provide? All the services that we normally provide are available except for home visiting and wheelchair hire. Advice and help to claim benefits, assistance with challenging decisions by the DWP firstly by asking for it to be looked at again, or by appealing to an independent Tribunal and providing representation at the Tribunal. This can all be done by phone, or video link, if you prefer and is not so complicated to do as you may think. We already have three months of experience and can explain what will happen when you phone us. Also,
• Many deadlines for the return of benefit forms have been automatically extended so there is no need to panic.
• Assessments with a Health Care Professional are going ahead by phone.
• Tribunal hearings are going ahead but by phone conference call and we have already been represented clients at nine hearings.
Queries and requests for advice about many other disability issues have usually been answered by phone and this continues as normal.
Support Ipswich Disabled Advice Bureau – we have set up our first ever crowd funding page supported by the Aviva Community Fund and the link for any contributions is below:-
We have dedicated the page to David Hughes, our late Vice Chairman. It was something that he wanted to do for us, but we were a bit hesitant – however his advice did not fall on deaf ears, just reluctant ones.
Click on the link below to find out about our work during the coronavirus epidemic:-
Stay safe and keep well.
The Ipswich Disabled Advice Bureau is a local, independent charity, which celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2018, founded in 1973 as a small drop-in centre, that became a registered charity in 1981 and a not-for-profit company in 1996. We work to support people with any form of disability, their carers, families and others in related fields, who live in Ipswich and the surrounding area, including Kesgrave, the Shotley peninsular and westwards to Hadleigh and Stoke-by-Nayland. We currently employ one full time and eight part time staff, supported by twelve volunteers. We are a user-led organisation, meaning that over 50 percent of our Trustees, staff and volunteers have a disability themselves.
We provide free and confidential advice, information, advocacy at our town centre office, outreach services – currently one in Brantham and one in partnership with VoiceAbility and based at their offices, with a further outreach in Hadleigh – and a home visiting service for people who cannot get to our office or outreaches. Formal, and informal, partnerships with other organisations underpin most of our activities.
In an average month we deal with over 800 enquiries and 230 cases. The support includes, but is not limited to:
- discussing welfare benefit entitlement including tax credits, housing benefit and council tax benefit
- Assistance with completing claim forms, from Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) to those for Blue Badges, including forms that now have to be completed online
- Employment issues including advice for disabled jobseekers
- Special educational needs with screening and advice for adults with dyslexia
- Provide representation for appeals
- A wheelchair hire service
- A debt and money management service that is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
To support the work of the Ipswich DAB you can become a member. Subscription is £5 per year for individuals and £10 per year for organisations and companies.