Case Studies


Pensions Claim

Alan came into the centre in a very anxious state because of financial worries.  He was over pension age and still working, but because he was on such low income he hd been using up nearly all of his life savings for many years to make ends meet. He had spoken to various people at the relevant departments about this but was left quite confused.
Our advisor Denise very quickly established that he had in fact been given completely incorrect advice. By making the right enquiries on Alan's behalf, she quickly established that he had in fact been entitled to claim his state pension for many years.  

With our help, Alan eventually recuperated around £83,000 in pension payments.

"I knew as soon as

I met Denise in the centre

that she would be able to help me. It was the first time I'd felt I'd been properly listened to.

I walked out of the centre feeling less anxious and worried

for my future than I had

in a long time."

Disabilty help 

18-year-old Joe came to the centre after struggling to get financial help following a physical assault which left him with serious head injuries.

Like many of our services users, he hadn't always found it easy to access other advice. For some people, even making and keeping appointments can be a daunting hurdle. People in our community know that anyone who walks in off the street will be welcomed and listened to immediately. 
As well as being in a great deal of physical pain from his head injury, Joe was also suffering acute stress and anxiety from his head injury. Within minutes of assessing his situation we were able to give him a great deal of reassurance and within a fee days had helped him to access the financial help he was entitled to, including over £1500 in PIPS back payments 

"I cannot thank Jody and the other volunteers enough. I simply didn't know where to start getting help with this. I walked in the centre feeling really distressed and anxious and walked out feeling hopeful and less worried."


Legal assistance

A retired couple, David and Joan, had been deceived into handing over most of their life savings to a local builder who they had engaged to add an extension to their home. The couple were suspicious when the builder originally asked for around £10,000 up front for materials and continued to ask for money until they had handed over around £40,000. The work started but quickly came to a halt and the builder disappeared. When the couple managed to contact him to demand the money back, they were met with one excuse after another.

The couple spent over a year trying to get help from sources such as the police and Citizen's Advice but were repeatedly told that there was nothing that could be done. 

A neighbour of the couple mentioned speaking to one of our advisors.We put the couple in touch with a solicitor who we knew would be able to help. We accompanied them to meetings and legal hearings all the way along the process. 
The couple eventually won their legal case  and recovered the full amount that they had thought they had lost.

"We had pretty much given up hope of seeing our life-savings again until we went to the Bolton Advice Centre. they were amazing, we knew they were on our side from the start and wouldn't stop fighting for us until we'd got our money back."

David and Joan

Help for everyone​ 

Accessing and understanding social services in a second language can be very difficult and stressful and people are glad that we are more informal. 

Sara is a mother of two who had o flee her country because of religious persecution and was granted full leave to remain.

She came into the centre as she was finding a lot of the process of trying to establish a home for her and her children incredibly complicated, despite being an extremely articulate person with a very high standard of English.  

(Accessing and understanding social services in a second language can be very difficult and stressful and many clients really appreciate our relaxed and informal approach). 

Sara was in a difficult position in not being able to work during the process and having to be made technically homeless (because the family had to immediately leave their National Asylum Support Service accommodation). We were able to offer practical support, including helping with form-filling and making some telephone calls on her behalf. Sara and her family soon found accommodation and we are currently assisting them further with finding furnishings and other advice.

"It's not just the practical help the centre gives me which I appreciate. It's also the emotional support at a difficult time. The people at the centre are so welcoming and helped make me to feel more positive about my situation"


148 Deansgate, Bolton, 
Lancashire, BL1 1BB