for the publicadvisors only

Raising awareness and take up of benefits

About Us

wwras sign

WARWICKSHIRE WELFARE RIGHTS ADVICE SERVICE (WWRAS) was created in September 1986 as a specialist organisation focusing on social security benefits.

It is governed by a Trustee Board representing the spectrum of the voluntary, statutory and commercial sectors.

Core funding comes from Warwickshire County Council, with additional funding from a range of other sources, usually for specific projects.

Our aim is to raise awareness of benefit entitlement via a number of key services, including appeal representation, take-up campaigns, telephone guidance, training and information materials.

We are a pro-active organisation who seek out those who need our help.
 
We believe that access to benefits not only helps those who are vulnerable and in great need: it can also be an effective and clearly demonstrable tool in meeting key strategies of many other organisations.

For more information on the range of services we provide click on POTENTIAL FUNDERS.


CURRENT STAFF

WWRAS has a small but very experienced team. Currently there are 10 full-time and 1 part-time members of staff namely:

  • Chief Executive - Mark Stanyer
  • Operations Manager - Stephen Watkins

 

Welfare Rights Workers

  • Rachel Wilcox
  • Jill Wood
  • Caroline Harrison
  • Tim Feuser

All of these staff carry out a variety of tasks including representation in court; presenting training; answering our Benefit Enquiry Line and writing leaflets.

Take-Up Workers

  • Bal Sandhu
  • Tim Feuser

These workers specialise in carrying out benefit checks, usually via home-visits, pursuing entitlements until a final decision is made.

Admin Assistants

  • Sam Morgan
  • Denise Peach
  • Melanie Patton

Admin staff support all aspects of WWRAS’s services, including casework support and maintaining our comprehensive database of local organisations.


WHAT WE DO

  • Represent at social security appeals
  • Advise frontline workers on the full range of social security benefit/tax credit issues affecting their clients/customers
  • Provide consultation to agencies on welfare rights matters that affect their clients/customers, such as a result of changes in legislation or their own policies
  • Carry out training on all benefits issues, and on all client groups
  • Produce a variety of information materials for both frontline workers and the public.

 

See our latest ANNUAL REPORT (2015/16)

See Here for the presentation 'The Uneven Impact of Welfare Reform in Warwickshire' made by Professor Christina Beatty from Sheffield Hallam University (The Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research) for our 2016 AGM.  See below for updated links to other reports/publications mentioned in presentation.

RECENT REPORTS

Beatty, C. and Fothergill, S. (2016) Jobs, Welfare and Austerity: How the destruction of industrial Britain casts a shadow over present-day public finances, CRESR.

Beatty et al. (2016) An inclusive growth monitor for measuring the relationship between poverty and growth, Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS:

Beatty, C. (2016) Two Become One: The Integration of Male and Female Labour Markets in the English and Welsh Coalfields, Regional Studies.

Beatty, C. and Fothergill, S. (2015) Disability benefits in an age of austerity, Social Policy and Administration

Beatty, C. and Fothergill, S. (2014) The local and regional impact of the UK's welfare reforms, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society

 


View the ARCHIVE OF ANNUAL REPORTS


PARTNERSHIP WORKING

Warwickshire Welfare Rights Advice Service is committed to partnership working as the best way to reach all communities in Warwickshire. See WWRAS IN THE COMMUNITY for more.


SOCIAL POLICY

Using its detailed experience of the impact of benefit changes on Warwickshire, WWRAS has a social policy function. See SOCIAL POLICY for more.


HISTORY

In 1986 it was estimated that up to £10 million went back into the Treasury each year from Warwickshire alone, as unclaimed benefits.  This was the original reason to establish a welfare rights service.

Initially based in the County's 5 Citizens Advice Bureaux, WWRAS has been operating out of its central unit in Nuneaton since 1992. Once centralised we were then able to offer a single point of contact for referrals, the Benefit Enquiry Line was opened, and an annual Training Programme begun.

WWRAS has always been funded to support agencies who deal with the public rather than with the public themselves, although increasingly and with 'project' funding we deal direct with vulnerable clients more directly in discrete campaigns.

WWRAS has always successfully met and exceeded its funding targets, hence its long and effective relationship with its core funder, Warwickshire County Council.