What to expect from your visit
Making the decision to seek help can be a difficult and emotional one, knowing what to expect when you visit our local office before you come can help make your first steps to getting the support and information less daunting.
When you first arrive at Citizens Advice Hart, you will find yourself in our reception/waiting room where you can ring the bell for assistance at our hatch. A volunteer receptionist will ask you for your name and address and ask you to complete a form. It is often helpful to bring the relevant paperwork with you (letters, court demands, benefit claims) so the receptionist can understand what help you need.
At this first meeting or if you return about a separate issue, you will be seen for around 15 minutes. Your adviser will ask you questions so they can work out what you should do next and provide you with some initial information to help move your issue forward. Some people are scared of talking about their problems or are embarrassed. Our advisers are specially trained to help you and will listen carefully to your problem without judging you. We want to help you, not make you feel worse.
Our service is provided predominantly by volunteers who have a wealth of knowledge and experience in multiple areas. There may be occasions when unfortunately all our advisers are busy and you may be asked to return another time. In these circumstances, we will book you in for the initial appointment to ensure that on your return, you are guaranteed to be seen.
If additional information or support is needed after this preliminary meeting, we will book you an hour long appointment so the query can be investigated in more detail and possible options explored. In addition to the information and resources that our advisers are able to offer, we work closely with other local organisations and where appropriate, we may well direct you to an alternative service if it is evident that you require more specialist information. All your information will be kept strictly confidential and we will not contact anyone without you agreeing.
At the end of your appointment, you and your adviser will come up with a plan of action that will help move things forward. Remember, if the problem needs further help, you might be asked to make an appointment at a later date. Don’t worry if an adviser asks you to come again. The most important thing to remember is not to ignore your problems and to try and get help.
We strive to provide the best possible service and make every effort to provide information and support with whatever issues you may be facing.
An introduction to the Citizens Advice service in BSL
Watch BSL video to see what your local Citizens Advice Bureau can do for you and how to contact them.
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