Strapline

A local charity for people who live or work in West Berkshire

We aim to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and to improve the policies and practices that affect people's lives.

We provide free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. We value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination.

Wednesday evening and Saturday opening times

Drop in alternate Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings for help with new issues.
Saturdays 9.30-11.30 6th February and 20th February
Wednesdays 4.30- 6.30 10th February and 24th February

If your home is off the gas grid and you have problems paying your fuel bills we would like to hear from you

Until mid-February 2016 we are researching the impact on West Berkshire residents of living in homes with no access to the gas grid.
If you have been affected by the costs of using off-gas grid energy, please fill in this form and we will contact you.

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Our track record

Case Studies

Mr and Mrs S moved into our area recently. Mr S was getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) low rate care. Carers were able to identify the potential for Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit (IIDB) for an accident that had happened at work 20 years ago. Mr S was then able to successfully claim IIDB and DLA higher rate care and mobility on supersession. Mrs S was then able to claim Carers Allowance for looking after him. A benefit check showed their eligibility for Pension Credit guarantee and full Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction, which they successfully claimed. The clients thanked us for our help and commented that we were the only agency that had been able to give them full benefit advice.

Mr B also had serious mental health issues and the prescribed drugs for treatment of his condition made him very lethargic. He had lost his benefits because he was unable to open his post. It took considerable time and effort to clarify his financial situation and to unravel the very complex situation with his benefits which went back a number of years. We helped him to apply for disability benefits including backdated payments. We gained charitable payments for him towards his rent arrears and some non-priority debts and got other non-priority debts written off. We also gave the client help with budgeting skills to try to help him balance his spending going forward. He expressed enormous gratitude for the support he received and said that the Bureau had turned his life around.

Mr A had incurred numerous debts during a difficult period in his life and came to the Bureau when these creditors started to pursue him again. We recognised that his debts were statute barred being over 6 years old and succeeded in stopping creditor action, giving the client much needed peace of mind.

Our Clients Say

“Very understanding and patient staff”
“A very professional service”
“easy to access and get good advice”
“good support and advice in individual circumstances’
“helpful and friendly”


Volunteer with us

21,600 highly trained volunteers support the delivery of our work. Our volunteers come from all sorts of backgrounds and help with everything we do. Could you join them?

We are a charity. Help us to keep changing lives with advice

Without the generous support of people up and down the country, we couldn't continue the work we do.

Upcoming Events

  1. Additional drop-in sessions in Newbury

    February 10 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  2. Additional drop-in sessions in Newbury

    February 20 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am