Crosslight Advice are a debt and money advice charity and as cost of living issues deepen for many residents across Hounslow, they are increasingly in demand.
Published: Tuesday, 29th November 2022
Focussing on those most in need, they take a person-centred approach and aim to help people get back on their feet by providing not only advice on debts, but also support with money skills and budgeting.
Their free money skills workshops, which are available to anyone (Join — The Money Course), are busier than ever as more people seek help to navigate the current crisis. "We want to help people at their point of need and walk with them as they deal with the issues they are facing" says CEO Bruce Connell. "It's a great privilege when people trust us with their difficulties, and our team will always work hard to support them whatever the situation is that they are facing with their debt".
Crosslight works closely with the Council’s Community Solutions team who make regular referrals into their service and have recently been attendees at the Council’s Cost of Living Marketplaces where residents have been able to access a range of advice, guidance and support on issues ranging from debt advice to wellbeing.
The charity operates across 18+ locations, the majority of which are in west London, including several in Hounslow. Chiswick Branch Manager Michele explains "Currently we host a monthly drop-in with the Hounslow Community Solutions team and participate once a month at the Bridgelink Centre in Isleworth, as well holding appointments from our base at St Nicks church in Chiswick and over the phone. Other Crosslight teams see clients at Hope Church’s two locations in Hounslow as well. And beginning in January, we will also be doing a regular drop-in at St. Paul's in Brentford. We want to ensure that those that need our help can get it.”
For Crosslight, ‘in-work’ poverty, or at least debt issues associated with people on low to middle incomes, is becoming increasingly common and it appears this group of people can take longer to reach out for help. There is a stigma associated with debt but anyone accessing the charity can be reassured that they will be supported each step of the way. As one Crosslight client recently wrote “It was the most helpful support I ever received from any organisation. My advisor was amazing. She literally held my hand taking me through my journey. She brought clarity and support when I was drowning. She never made me feel judged or ashamed and worked with me step by step.”
Collaborative by design, Crosslight partners with many different organisations locally, in order to support their clients. Among the diverse range of organisations cross referred through Crosslight are local foodbanks and community groups, the NHS, homeless charity Glassdoor, and organisations like Hestia who offer a range of support from safe spaces to issues associated with poor mental health. Crosslight deals with their clients holistically, an ethos shared by Community Solutions, and seek to support them each step of the way.
Like any charity, Crosslight relies on donations, and a team of dedicated local volunteers. Those giving up their time often make a big commitment but are able to make a real difference to people’s lives and together with in-house colleagues they are at the front line of the current crisis.
If you’d like to get volunteer or donate, go to: