Advice and Information Services


“The advisers were brilliant today. Put my anxiety at rest, gave me great advice and helped my daughter to a happier future. Thank you.”

– Advice Portsmouth Client

Advice and Information Services

What we do

Making sure people are connected to the information they need to meet their goals is integral to the way we work. We have a number of services dedicated to providing Advice and Information. These include Advice Portsmouth, our pioneering and award-winning service providing free independent advice to Portsmouth residents, and Basingstoke First Point which has been helping people at risk of homelessness maintain their tenancies since 2007.

Please select a service

Basingstoke First Point: Housing and Community Support


Basingstoke First Point: Housing and Community Support

For more information for First Point Basingstoke:

Telephone: 01256 423 805


Address: The Orchard, White Hart Lane, Basingstoke, RG21 4AF

Facebook: Search for ‘Basingstoke First Point Floating Support’

Find our leaflet at the bottom of this page.

We have been supporting people in Basingstoke since 2007 to remain in their homes, maintain their tenancies, avoid eviction and make sure they are claiming the benefits they are entitled to.

Navigating these systems can be both daunting and overwhelming. At First Point we can:

  • Advocate with landlords and housing associations as well as support you to make appointments, and even attend with you.
  • Provide support with managing bills
  • Guidance and support in applying for benefits or appealing benefit decisions such as Housing Benefit, JSA, budgeting loans, Income Support, Discretionary Housing Payments, Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payments
  • Assist you in setting up repayment plans
  • Resettlement into a new property e.g setting up utilities and housing benefit
  • Provide advice and guidance with filling out forms
  • Help you access Support Services and signpost you to other community services such as
    • Educational courses
    • Vocational training
    • Volunteering and Befriending service

For more information see our leaflet below:

Leaflet First Point Basingstoke March 2017

We offer information and guidance through our drop in service held at our offices in the Orchard and other community locations. Follow the link for our most recent drop in times and locations:

Basingstoke First Point Drop ins

Apart from our drop ins we are available by phone for advice and guidance seven days a week.

Call us on 01256 423805

First Point can also work intensively with more vulnerable people who have difficulties leaving their homes or have complex or challenging issues they need support with. We can home visit at a mutually agreed time including out of office hours or weekends depending on the needs involved.

If you are a professional and would like to refer someone you are working with for this one to one support then please see our referral form below:

Referral Form

Alternatively just come to our drop in!

First Point also undertakes some specialist project work including –

The Digital Inclusion Project

The Digital Inclusion Project.  Digital Inclusion is about giving everybody the opportunity and ability to access communication and information technologies. This project is run by one of our fantastic volunteers who can put a friendly face to the often daunting task of learning to use computers. We can visit you at home if you struggle to access the community and can even provide a computer for those that would qualify for the assistance. For a leaflet and more information click here.


The From Scratch Project


First Point often works with people who are moving into a property from temporary housing, a hostel, the family home as well as those who were formally rough sleeping.  These properties come completely unfurnished often with no carpets, curtains or white goods and people literally have to start ‘From Scratch’.  First Point works with our partner organisations to access quality second-hand items of furniture.  Thanks to Sentinel’s ‘Making it Happen’ grant we are also able to purchase household essentials such as a kitchen bin or a mop and bucket as well as some white goods if other avenues have been exhausted.  If you are a professional who would like to get this support for someone you are working with then please complete our referral form.  Otherwise just come to our drop in and talk to one of our Information and guidance workers.

At First Point we work at your pace, so whatever concerns you may have we will listen!  We can be as intensive or as flexible as you need and provide a friendly and approachable service. For more information on our service please contact me – Janet Cran, team manager on the number at the top of the page.

First Point have also produced some information sheets with some easy to understand guidance and information about housing and benefits. You are welcome to print these out by clicking the links below if you would find them useful:

A Simple Guide to Benefits

Tenancy Info Booklet

Universal credit leaflet

*First Point Basingstoke are funded by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

Advice Portsmouth


Advice Portsmouth


For more information, please contact:

Telephone: 02392 794 340 or 02392 794 345

Address: Focus Point, 116 Kingston Crescent, Portsmouth, PO2 8AL

We are open: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 9:00am to 5:00pm; Thursday 1:00pm to 7:00pm and Friday 9:00am to 4:30pm.

Advice Portsmouth runs a walk in centre and as such no appointments are necessary. You will be welcomed by reception staff who often can offer a helpful leaflet or answer any general enquiry. If you require further assistance beyond that provided by reception you be directed to the comfortable waiting area.

An information desk is situated within the waiting area and this is again an opportunity to review useful leaflets or speak with the Information Assistant who may be better placed to provide assistance. Computers for public use (job searches, online form filling) and a free telephone (to make enquiries about jobs, benefit claims, housing) are also available.

Legally trained advisors offer a holistic approach as often the problem presented with is part of a more complicated scenario. An advisor will take the next client waiting. No advisors are assigned to a particular client unless in exceptional circumstances. You will wait, on average, only 14 minutes enabling in excess of 14,000 enquiries to be dealt with annually.

With no appointment all advisors can take the appropriate length of time that is required depending upon the issue(s) presented and your own particular needs.

We endeavour to empower you to take ownership of your issue(s) albeit with support and expert legal guidance from the staff at Advice Portsmouth.

On 9 June 2016, Advice Portsmouth was announced as the Winner of the Charity Awards 2016 for the Advice, Support and Campaigning category.

For even more information about what we do, please read our Advice Portsmouth Annual Report 17-18.

If you wish to support Advice Portsmouth, you can just by purchasing a lottery ticket!

“Hi, I’m Mat and the solicitor responsible for Advice Portsmouth situated in the heart of the city. As an experienced lawyer, I have worked all my life to support people to obtain their rights and justice. I am passionate about the work of Advice Portsmouth which every year provides over 14,000 acts of assistance through free independent legal advice.” – Mat Smith, Advice Portsmouth Manager


Circle of Support


Circle of Support

The YOU Trust is working in partnership with EC Roberts Centre and HOPE Portsmouth in order to deliver the Circle of Support service which aids those in crisis in the Portsmouth area. The areas of hardship which the service can support are: emergency food aid, benefit delays, sanctions, debt, unemployment, low pay trap, no savings, relationship breakdowns, domestic abuse, homelessness, illness, disability, food/fuel poverty, digital exclusion and literacy or numeracy skills.

The Circle of Support Partners support clients through outreach or at the 6 main Food Banks across Portsmouth. The Partner’s aim to have a warm approach and engage with clients as a human being to a human being. A holistic assessment will be undertaken together, to aid the design of a person-centred support plan and creation of circle of support to include family, friends, community members and agencies as appropriate.

This project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.


Basingstoke Digital Inclusion Service


Basingstoke Digital Inclusion Service

For further information please contact:

Telephone: 01256 423805

First Point Basingstoke’s Digital Inclusion Project is delivered in partnership with Basingstoke Area Strategic Partnership and Sentinel Housing Group. Digital Inclusion is about giving everybody the opportunity and ability to access communication and information technologies. Our aim is to undertake targeted, digitally focussed work with people, to give them skills and technological access needed to increase independence. Visits occur at an individuals’ home, with support ranging from weekly to fortnightly visits depending on needs for up to 6-8 sessions. People can be provided with a computer if they do not already have one and the worker teaches basic IT skills. The Digital Inclusion Support Worker will also link people to other digital hubs within the local community, so people know where to get further help when the support ends.

Digital Inclusion Leaflet