Household Support Fund (HSF)

Harrow Council has been allocated funding from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Household Support Fund to support vulnerable households facing a rise in the cost of living. This grant is called the Household Support Fund (HSF). The funding is available from 1 April 2024 and must be spent by 30 September 2024.

 

The Council is partnering with Citizens Advice Harrow to deliver financial support by distributing part of the HSF grant to eligible residents in the form of vouchers.

 

For more information, please visit https://www.harrow.gov.uk/benefits/household-support-fund

 

You can contact us by phone https://www.citizensadviceharrow.org.uk/phone/ for application process or via email hsf@citizensadviceharrow.org.uk

Volunteer Recruitment Day!

Citizens Advice Harrow is hosting a Volunteer Recruitment Day!

We are looking for dedicated, hardworking individuals who can support our team and the residents of Harrow.

 

Date: Wednesday 20 March 2024
Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: 4 Gayton Road, Harrow, HA1 2FB

 

Volunteering with us offers you the opportunity to:

• Meet new people.
• Develop new skills.
• Contribute to your community.
• Enhance your employability skills.

 

Roles we offer:

• Adviser
• Information Support
• Administration
• Reception
• Project Support
• Research & Campaigns
• Trustee


If you are interested and would like to learn more then come along and find out more!
Please confirm your attendance, via email volunteer@citizensadviceharrow.org.uk.
Thank you, we look forward to meeting you!

Office Closure – 27 MARCH 2024

Citizens Advice Harrow will be CLOSED on WEDNESDAY 27 MARCH 2024, due to staff training.

 

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.


IN CASE OF EMERGENCY PLEASE CALL:

Harrow Council’s Social Services:

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm          020 8901 2680

Out of Hours          020 8424 0999

 

Domestic Violence

Free phone 24/7          0808 2000 247

 

Reporting homelessnes          020 8424 1093

Email:          housing.advice@harrow.gov.uk

Homeless Enquiry Form:          www.harrow.gov.uk

Rough sleepers – Streetlink (24/7)          0300 5000 914

 

Served eviction notice          www.harrow.gov.uk

 

Harrow Food Bank         020 8416 7344

Holy Trinity Church Wealdstone HA3 5QX: Normal Day (Tues/Fri)

South Harrow Baptist Church HA2 8EB: Normal Day (Mon)

Rayners Lane Baptist Church HA2 7HW: Normal Day (Sat)

Kenton Methodist Church HA3 0XF: Normal Day (Wed)

 

Harrow Warm Hubs          www.harrowgiving.org.uk/warmhubs/

 

Help to Claim National number          0800 328 5644

Citizens Advice Help to Claim          0800 144 8444

Consumer Awareness 2024 29 January – 4 February

Citizens Advice Harrow issues top shopping tips as charity reveals 41% of London shoppers hit by recent consumer woe

 

New research from Citizens Advice Harrow finds 41% shoppers in London have experienced a problem with an item they’ve bought since October 2023.

 

The charity’s study found that, nationally, consumers spent over £2 billion and six million hours – an average of £64 and 94 minutes per person – trying to fix these issues. This was made up by, for example, people needing to take time off work to return a parcel within set hours, or racking up phone bills hanging on the end of a customer helpline.

 

Further analysis revealed top issues across the country included:

  • Delivery issues (57%), with products arriving late (28%) or not arriving at all (27%);
  • And consumers receiving defective goods (52%)

 

To help shoppers start 2024 clued up on their rights, Citizens Advice Harrow is sharing its top tips to shop confidently. This advice marks the start of its Consumer Awareness campaign (Monday 29th January – Sunday 4th February). The annual campaign is run by Citizens Advice in collaboration with the Consumer Protection Partnership (CPP), which includes Trading Standards and the Department for Business and Trade.

 

Tajinder Nijjar, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Harrow, said:


“As we go into the new year, it’s important that people in Harrow are armed with the right knowledge to shop safely. With budgets already stretched, none of us want to waste precious time or money on retail issues that could easily be avoided.

 

“Citizens Advice Harrow is dedicated to giving consumers the knowledge they need to stay savvy when shopping on the high street or online. Everyone can be a consumer champion when they have the right information.”

 

Citizens Advice Harrow also offers top tips to help consumers shop safely this year:

 

  1. Delivery problems
  • It’s the seller’s responsibility to make sure the item is delivered to you. Check the delivery address you gave the seller and contact them to ask where your order is.
  • If the seller claims they’ve delivered it or don’t know where it is, you can ask for a redelivery. You might be able to get a refund in some circumstances.

 

  1. Defective goods
  • If something’s gone wrong with an item you’ve bought, you might be entitled to a refund, repair or replacement. You’ll have legal rights if the item you bought is:
    • broken or damaged (‘not of satisfactory quality’)
    • unusable (‘not fit for purpose’)
    • not what was advertised or doesn’t match the seller’s description”

 

  1. What if I change my mind?
  • If you buy in store, you don’t have a legal right to return goods if you’ve simply changed your mind. Lots of shops have their own policies and do allow this, but time limits can vary.
  • If you buy online you usually get a right to cancel, known as a cooling off period, but there are exemptions including bespoke or personalised goods, and computer software where the seal is broken.

 

  1. Pay safe
  • Pay by card so you have another form of protection if there’s a problem. The other way would be by making a chargeback or section 75 claim to your card provider.
  • Be cautious if you’re asked to pay in an unusual way such as in iTunes vouchers, crypto currency or via bank transfer as this could be the sign of a scam.

 

  1. Making a return
  • Get proof of your return – a receipt from a shop or proof of postage. If you pay for return postage check the service you use covers the value of the goods.
  • Using a service that includes tracking means you can prove when a trader received your return.

 

For information and advice, visit the  Citizens Advice Harrow website https://www.citizensadviceharrow.org.uk/

.

 

We give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem.

 

Notes to editors:

 

  1. Walnut Omnibus, a nationally representative omnibus survey of 2,041 adults across GB between 3rd – 5th January 2024. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
  2. Please visit https://www.citizensadviceharrow.org.uk/ for further details

 

Christmas Closure 2023

Citizens Advice Harrow will be CLOSED from Monday 25th December 2023 to Monday 1 January 2024.

 

WE REOPEN ON TUESDAY 2 JANUARY 2024

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY PLEASE CALL:

Harrow Council’s Social Services:

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm          020 8901 2680

Out of Hours          020 8424 0999

 

Domestic Violence

Free phone 24/7          0808 2000 247

 

Reporting homelessnes          020 8424 1093

Email:          housing.advice@harrow.gov.uk

Homeless Enquiry Form:          www.harrow.gov.uk

Rough sleepers – Streetlink (24/7)          0300 5000 914

 

Served eviction notice          www.harrow.gov.uk

 

Harrow Food Bank         020 8416 7344

Holy Trinity Church Wealdstone HA3 5QX: Normal Day (Tues/Fri)

South Harrow Baptist Church HA2 8EB: Normal Day (Mon)

Rayners Lane Baptist Church HA2 7HW: Normal Day (Sat)

Kenton Methodist Church HA3 0XF: Normal Day (Wed)

 

Harrow Warm Hubs          www.harrowgiving.org.uk/warmhubs/

 

Help to Claim National number          0800 328 5644

Citizens Advice Help to Claim          0800 144 8444

Shop online safely this festive season

Shop online safely this festive season

How you can be #ShopAware

Laura Humayun

We are Citizens Advice

Festive shopping season is approaching. Online shopping can be convenient and save you time — but whether you’re shopping for your loved one’s presents, festive decorations or just treating yourself, make sure you take steps to protect yourself.

Here’s our top tips to avoid scams and help you shop online safely this festive season:

1. Does it seem too good to be true?

If it seems too good to be true — it probably is. This is especially true for products which are ‘must-haves’ or are sold out in major retailers. It may seem like the perfect present, but you might end up with nothing.

Be wary of sites offering big discounts, and ensure that you’re buying from the retailer’s official website so that you know it’s a genuine product. You can find out if a company is registered by searching their details on gov.uk. Sole traders (someone who runs their own business) and partnerships (where two or more people run a business together) don’t need to register with gov.uk, so you’ll need to do further research on their site to make sure they’re a genuine seller

2. Check you’re buying from a trustworthy retailer

Do some background research into the company. Start with an internet search about the retailer and have a look at their official website. Make sure you find their return and refund policies so you can understand your rights if something goes wrong with your purchase. Find out how they can be contacted, where in the world they’re based and whether they’re part of a consumer protection scheme.

Seeing what others say about the retailer can help you find out if it’s a legitimate seller or not. But remember to look into reviews on other websites too, not just their official website.

3. How do they want you to pay?

Be cautious when a seller asks you to pay by an unusual means such as in iTunes vouchers, crypto currency or via bank transfer. These are harder to track and lack the vital protections that you get when paying by debit or credit card or by a third party app such as PayPal. Whichever way you pay, make sure you check the terms and conditions to understand what you’re paying for.

We can help you understand your consumer rights and stay #ShopAware.

Find out more about your rights on our consumer advice pages and contact our Consumer Helpline if you need more help.

Article is written by Laura Humayun at Citizens Advice, source https://wearecitizensadvice.org.uk/shop-online-safely-this-festive-season-4a1149c12c7e

Our office is relocating!

We will be moving offices on Monday 4th & 5th September 2023 and our face-to-face services maybe disrupted. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause and we thank you for your patience. Our Adviceline will operate as normal.

Our new address will be 4 Gayton Road, Harrow, HA1 2FB.

Scam Awareness Week 3 – 9 July 2023

Scams Awareness is an annual campaign aiming to:

  • Give people skills to identify scams
  • Encourage people to share their experiences
  • Help people gain the confidence to report scams

https://wearecitizensadvice.org.uk/what-scams-you-should-look-out-for-3ebb563627b1  Scammers reach out in a number of ways, providing substandard services and trying to take your money. This could involve someone contacting you unexpectedly by telephone or email, coming to your door with a too good to be true opportunity or offering false information through online advertising.

We’re helping you stay #ScamAware by sharing 5 scams you should be on the lookout for…

1. Fake text messages and emails, known as ‘friend-in-need scams’

There’s been an increase in the number of people receiving messages claiming to be from their relatives/children, asking them to reply on a new number before requesting money.

If you get one of these messages — be suspicious. Don’t be rushed into making any quick decisions. It’s okay to take your time, and if someone is pressuring you to send money or personal details then it’s most likely a scam.

Try and contact your relative/child directly on a known number, or ask them to share a voice note, to confirm if the message is genuine. Only consider the request if you’ve done these checks and are 100% sure the request is from someone you know and trust.

2. Home Improvement scams

We’ve seen a number of people being scammed when booking home improvements this year.

If you’re being pressured to pay upfront for work, or the company you’re working with is adding on additional costs before completing the work, it might be a scam.

Find out more on how to avoid home improvement scams here.

3. Online shopping scams

Watch out for fake adverts when shopping online. If you spot something you want to buy, make sure you protect yourself by:

  • Read reviews from different websites
  • Find the company’s details on Companies House
  • Look at their terms and conditions
  • Pay by debit or credit card

4. Used car scams

When purchasing a car, avoid scammers by doing the following:

  • Looking for an established firm with a good reputation, and links to a trade association (for example, the Retail Motor Industry Federation or the Scottish Motor Trade Association)
  • Check the car’s history. These checks are simple, don’t take long and don’t cost much
  • Inspect the car and take a test drive
  • Avoid purchasing via auction or through Facebook Marketplace — they offer less protection if something goes wrong.

Find out more about protecting yourself when buying a used car on our website.

5. Financial scams

If you’re contacted for an investment opportunity unexpectedly by email or social media, it could be a scam.

If you’re not sure about a financial opportunity you’re being offered, get advice from a trusted source and don’t be rushed into making any quick decisions. It’s okay to take your time.

Never give money or personal details, like passwords or bank details, or transfer cash to someone you don’t know or have only met online.

Need more help?

Then we’re here for you! Visit our website for all of our advice or contact us to speak to one of our advisers.

You can also head to Friends Against Scams to learn more about how to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams.

Useful links:

Blog by Jessica Rigby https://wearecitizensadvice.org.uk/

What can people do?

Stop and get advice. Contact Citizens Advice online at citizensadvice.org.uk/scamsadvice or on 0808 223 1133 (0808 223 1144 for Welsh language).

Report scams to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or @actionfrauduk on Twitter.

Talk with friends, family and neighbours about scams they’ve experienced.

Household Support Fund

Harrow Council has received funding from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), to spend on supporting vulnerable households with the rising cost of living. This grant is called the Household Support Fund (HSF).

 

The Council is partnering with Citizens Advice Harrow to deliver financial support by distributing part of the HSF grant to eligible residents in the form of vouchers.

 

For more information, please visit https://www.harrow.gov.uk/benefits/household-support-fund and https://www.gov.uk/cost-living-help-local-council

 

You can contact us by phone https://www.citizensadviceharrow.org.uk/phone/ for application process or via email hsf@citizensadviceharrow.org.uk

Face to Face appointments can now take place – 19 June 2023

Citizens Advice Harrow are pleased to announce that water issues have been resolved and we have resumed to normal Face to Face service. Thank you for your patience and co-operation. Once again apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Office Closure for Face to Face appointments

We are currently experiencing a water supply issue and are working with Harrow Council to resolve the issue. The office for face to face appointments will be closed until further notice. The telephone Advice line will operate as normal, the staff & Volunteers will work from home.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused.