Community Unites Us is a charitable organisation founded by Janine Warner-White in 2014.
Community Unites Us specialises in social justice. We offer a welfare rights service and an empowering supported advocacy service. We try and operate with as little red tape as possible to make us accessible for the neediest of cases.
We help with benefit applications, appeals, housing issues and with budgeting. We have a referral system for more in-depth money management advice and debt advice. We specialise in social security appeals and helping residents with rent arrears.
We set up Community Unites Us to respond to the demand of our services due to today’s current economic climate. In 2012 welfare benefit advice was taken out of scope for Legal Aid, which with all the welfare benefits changes couldn’t of; come at a worse time. It astonishes me that when the government decides to overhaul the current welfare system that they also cut the advice/ support available to help people through the transition.
The government states that the infrastructure in place to appeal any decisions is an easy, transparent and informal process, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The complexity of our current welfare system is made worse by the changes that are being forced on claimants. If anyone has attended a social security tribunal hearing, I’m sure they would agree with me, that it is far from informal! And as for the panel being independent how does that work when the medical professional is employed by the same people that assess the claimant in the first place?
We have rightly seen on our TV’s the effort being made by well-known individuals; to try and breakdown the barriers and stigma surrounding mental health, well unfortunately the DWP didn’t get that memo, because if you can raise your hands above your head and touch your toes, you are fit for work! We help genuine people who are in need and for real reasons are unable to work at this current time. Because our funding comes mainly from grants, we only take on cases that are weighted with strong medical evidence. We will never just turn you away, we will always advise you to help you move forward.
We also work with Kent Credit Union who offer a range of saving and budgeting accounts/ services.
Our board of Trustees who run the charity are a diverse board all with valuable employment of life experience.
We run volunteer recruitment throughout the year, as volunteers are what makes our services possible. If you are interested in becoming a trustee or volunteer for Community Unites Us, then please complete the contact form on our ‘contact us’ page and one of our team members will be in contact.