Citizens Advice East Berkshire Receives Bracknell Forest Council Innovation Fund Grant

Innovation Fund to Support Citizens Advice East Berkshire’s Personal Independence Payment Project

The Bracknell Forest Innovation Fund, led by the council and NHS Frimley, allocates funding to local community ideas and projects that would benefit the lives of clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV)  residents and those closest to them. Citizens Advice East Berkshire will use the grant to help support our Personal Independence Payment (PIP) project, that seeks to assist more residents in Bracknell Forest access the PIP payments they are entitled to.

PIP is a welfare benefit that is intended to help working age adults with the extra costs of living with a health condition or a disability. It is non means-tested, non-contributory and tax-free; it is not linked to a person’s ability to work and it is available equally to people in or out of work. Despite this, the criteria is complex and the application process can be very difficult for claimants to navigate.

We currently offer a form filling service for PIP and the Innovation Funding will allow us to increase our provision. We are also offering a home visiting service to improve accessibility to our services for vulnerable clients who are housebound.

We invite practice staff, GPs and other health professionals to refer directly to us or via the local Social Prescribing Team. This will help provide earlier practical support for those living with a health condition or disability.

Cllr Megan Wright, executive member for adult services, health and housing, said:

We have been really inspired by the work these local organisations do and are so pleased to be able to help them continue and build on the invaluable support they have been providing.

As part of our health and wellbeing strategy, we are really committed to addressing health inequalities in the borough and hope that these projects can help those who may be feeling isolated as a result of the pandemic, or a long-term health condition, get back into the community and taking part in some fun activities.

More information on the Innovation Fund can be found on the Frimley Health Care website.

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