Avonmore Library had been closed in 2011 and after a local resident campaign, LBHF approached us (Citizen Advice Hammersmith and Fulham) to share the building and deliver the library services using our trained and supervised volunteers. We opened in May 2012, inheriting the current infrastructure and there has never been any budget to improve this. The library is now in much need of better shelving and an improved children's space.
We are an independent charity that is part of a national network of 300 individual charities that deliver advice across England & Wales overseen by a national framework provided by Citizens Advice. In 2018, we helped 12000 local people with 28,000 issues. Our client satisfaction is 99%.
We are one of the busiest local Citizens Advice services in London and the only one nationally to run a local library, which is the focus for this project and the first point of contact for many of our clients.
Alongside our generalist advice provision (debt, housing and benefits including Universal Credit support) , we deliver a plethora of financial capability and digital inclusion projects to assist with money management, debt solutions and digital literacy. We have a strong commitment to offering integrated solutions to our clients in need of help with financial issues and to build resilience in the community.
As one of the initial pilot areas, we are at forefront of providing our clients advice on Universal Credit and have been appointed as Best Practice Lead for West London.
We deliver services from 2 locations: in the north of the Borough we are based in 338 Uxbridge Road in Shepherds Bush. In the south, we are co-located with Avonmore Library and Neighbourhood Centre from where we deliver the Library Service through our dedicated team of volunteers as well as traditional advice services.
As well as these sites, our services are delivered from other regular and ad hoc locations around the Borough according to the needs of the various projects and to improve access for clients and residents. For example, we have key workers located at the borough’s food banks providing clients with direct access to our advice at their point of need and run weekly computer clubs to promote digital inclusion on five local council estates.