Wealden District Council

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Reaching out in Wealden

Media Release : 18 June 2018

Universal Credit job coaches are providing outreach facilities in Wealden.

Matthew Bailey, Mark Warren

Hailsham  and Crowborough are now providing outreach locations, offering job advice and support to Universal Credit claimants.  Most of a Universal Credit claim is done online, but a vital part of the process of getting people back into work is face to face engagement with a job coach.  
The Department of Work and Pensions and Wealden District Council have arranged to provide weekly work coach sessions at the Council offices in Hailsham.

A job coach is also now available every Friday  from 10am-2pm at Crowborough Citizens Advice’s office at Croham Lodge off Croham Road. Booked appointments only.
“As one of the most rural districts in the South East, Wealden suffers from a gap in the provision of Jobcentre Plus offices with our nearest to be found in Eastbourne, Haywards Heath and Tonbridge,” said Councillor Graham Wells, Wealden Cabinet member with responsibility for Housing & Benefits.
“This initiative will help support claimants as they seek skills and confidence as they look to return to work. We hope it will soon become available at other locations in the District.”
Universal Credit work coaches Matthew  and Mark  are holding outreach sessions at Wealden District Council’s Hailsham offices every Thursday from 9.45am -12.45pm and 1.45pm-3.45pm. Some of the sessions are pre-arranged interviews but they are also able to see people who drop in for a meeting. The sessions take place in the Public Foyer at the Council’s Vicarage Lane offices.
“We can help people improve their CV, discuss different work opportunities and see if there are skills or training which could provide an additional boost to help them get back into employment,” said Mark.
“If they have not been able to return to work because of an illness or disability, we can help them get closer to a situation where they feel confident and ready to return to work.”
Conversation about benefits payments and finance should be carried out online with their case manager via the online journal.
Universal Credit has already been introduced to communities in the south of the District and in June, it will be extended to places in the north of the District including Danehill, Crowborough, Rotherfield, Groombridge, Forest Row and Hartfield.  September will see Universal Credit introduced to Uckfield and surrounding villages.