Advocacy

Our advocacy service offers free and professional advice on benefits, housing, debt and immigration. Specifically, we:

  • Provide after grant of asylum support (i.e. applications for travel documents, housing, benefits, etc.);
  • Offer advice about, and assistance applying for, social security benefits, loans and grants;
  • Support clients in terms of finding housing and resolving problems with existing housing;
  • Help to resolve disputes with landlords or debt agencies, etc.;
  • We assist with filling in forms, translations, phone calls as well as referrals to other organisations and solicitors.

Information and advice on housing, benefits and entitlements, health, education and employment are available at the following locations:

Day Time Location
Tuesday 09:00-15:00 Our main office on 10th Floor Hyde House, The Hyde, London NW9 6LH
Friday 10:00-16:00 Harrow CAB, Civic 8 (behind Harrow Civic Centre), Station Road HA1 2XH
PLEASE NOTE
This service operates by appointment only

All of our staff and volunteers are Disclosure & Barring Service checked.

For more information or an appointment
Please e-mail us at info@paiwand.com or telephone 020 8905 8770 to book an appointment.  

Here are some examples of individuals we have helped in the past through our advocacy service:

From the Evaluation of Paiwand’s Services – February 2014

Case Study 1

Ms M is a refugee who had received lots of correspondence from HMRC regarding her child tax
credits and claiming that £12,000 had been overpaid to her over a number of years. Initially HMRC
were unable to provide a full and clear explanation for the overpayment, but were still sending Ms M
letters from their debt department asking her to pay the money back. The advocate made contact with
HMRC and requested further information, HMRC agreed to put the debt repayment on hold while they
investigated. After continually chasing HMRC, the advocate was given further information about Mrs
M’s overpayment; together with Mrs M the advocate submitted a dispute form on the grounds that the
overpayment was actually as a result of HMRC’s systems, and not the client’s fault. As a result of the
hard work and persistence of the advocate, HMRC finally investigated the case and have decided that
Ms M does not have to make any repayments.

Case Study 2

Mrs S is a refugee. She approached the advocacy service after she noticed that direct debits were
being taken from her bank account by a debt consolidation company. Mrs S stated that although she
had received a cold call from a company a year before, she had never signed any agreement, and
had recently received a consent form from them to complete. Mrs S had accrued a number of bank
charges and £750 had been deducted from her bank account. The service contacted the company
who provided a full written apology and a refund of all her money deducted including the bank
charges.

Case Study 3

Mrs H is a vulnerable older Afghan client who suffers from chronic health problems. Mrs H
approached the advocacy service as a result of major repair problems in her housing association
property; these included a cockroach infestation along with holes in her roof. Mrs H was forced to
sleep in her living room because the ceiling above her bedroom was leaking and she was using
buckets to collect the water. The advocate contacted the housing association to request an urgent
repair to the roof and her property. There were repair delays because of the inclement weather, as a
result the advocate managed to get Mrs H and her neighbour moved to a hotel for a number of weeks
while the repairs were completed.