Winner of the Best Volunteer Team Award: Citizens Advice Runnymede and Spelthorne Court Desk Advisers
We are all aware that we are living in challenging times and many of the most vulnerable in our communities are struggling to deal with issues of homelessness, debt, and money management. Some find themselves in the devastating position of having to attend court to go before a judge in a housing repossession hearing. These people are facing absolute crisis.
Thanks to Citizens Advice Runnymede and Spelthorne help is available and that is why this year’s team award goes to their Court Desk Team of Charlie Tomlins, Trevor Woolley, and David Chatterton.
As Court Desk Advisers, Charlie, Trevor, and David, specialise in housing advice and attend the repossession hearings at Staines Court to support people summoned to appear before a Judge. Anyone attending court can meet with one of the advisers before their hearing. The advisers will explain what is going to happen in court, assess the case and outline the options. They can also represent the client in court if they wish.
Charlie, Trevor, and David go above and beyond to reassure clients and help them through the process, helping people find a way forward both in the hearing and afterwards. They keep up to date in their own time with the ever-changing legal frameworks of housing and debt advice in order to be able to give urgent immediate advice at a critical time for clients.
Their service is so valued by clients, local authorities, and the judges that when there was a proposal to extend court sessions to clear the backlog of cases following the Covid pandemic, the judges refused to do so unless the team could be there to support clients.