Robert (name changed for confidentiality) is a young man trying to work his way out of the grip of heroin addiction. Robert is successfully managing a methadone program but maintains a poorly managed lifestyle. Robert has been presenting frequently to Gateshead Council for support with food and energy cards and the council has referred him multiple times to Citizens Advice Gateshead for advice on his budgeting, housing, and debt issues, but there has been little to no success by advisers to contact him.
What we did with Robert
One of our Social Welfare Advisers had been able to reach him by phone but her Advice Hub is in Birtley. Robert lives within the Inner West Advice Hub area and Sophie felt that Robert would have a better outcome if seen face-to-face, especially because he had a looming deadline for a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) form completion. This appointment was arranged, and Robert attended his first appointment recently. He had a PIP form to complete but during our appointment he was showing signs of agitation, so another appointment was arranged for the following day.
Robert attended both appointments on time. This is a great leap forward for him. Whilst he still has complex needs, he has been able to complete one issue from his list because we were able to offer face-to-face appointments close to where he lives, and establish a rapport with Robert.