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What to expect

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we can only advise you if you have an appointment. We have made changes to our normal pattern of working because of the pandemic.

The process of getting help

  • Once you have returned our Request an Appointment form, we will reply by e-mail asking for more information or requesting some documents.
  • Or, if we cannot help you, we will e-mail to let you know this, and signpost you another source of advice, if we can.
  • Once you have provided the additional information/documents to us, we will create an electronic file on our case management system with all the information in it.
  • The case will then be allocated to a volunteer adviser, who will look at your case on our management system and get in touch with you.
  • Our advisers offer time-limited appointments – usually 20 minutes.
  • The adviser may respond with one of the following:
    1. An e-mail of advice, if that is all that is needed.
    2. A draft of a letter, and an email to you to say “I have drafted this letter for you to send to the other side. Please contact SWLAC again once you get a reply”.
    3. A phone call to seek further information from you, before advising.
  • At any time, we may say that we cannot help you, or help you any further.

Help us to help you

All of our volunteers are advising voluntarily and unpaid, and most at the end of the day’s work. They do it because they want to. Sometimes there are unavoidable delays in them leaving work.

Please respect our staff, and the fact that they are giving up their own time to help others.

What to bring

  • Please arrange relevant documents in your case (such as letters) in date order, so that the earliest letter is on the top.
  • If your case concerns a contract such as a tenancy agreement or an employment contract, please have it to hand for your appointment.
  • If you have access to a scanner, please scan the documents in date order onto a USB stick, so that you can e-mail these to us if your adviser asks you to.
  • If you are able to, please prepare a list (in date order) of the main events relating to the advice that you are seeking.
  • If you think it would be helpful, you can have someone with you during the appointment, to communicate or translate for you.