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Helpful organisations

This page tells you about organisations that provide advice and information about benefits and rights, which are either local organisations that can help you if you live in Colchester, or national telephone helplines.

Local organisations in Colchester

Age UK Colchester  - 01206 368420 e-mail -
Globe House, 6 George Street, Colchester, Essex, C01 1TP
Open: Mon - Fri, 9am - 4pm
Provides information and advice on benefits, pensions, housing, community care and health issues, a transport scheme, day centres, social clubs and a home equipment loan scheme. Home visits available.

The April Centre -01206 500 509 / 01206 544 474 email -

10 St Peter's Court, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1WD 
Open: Mon - Fri 9.30am - 4.00pm
Drop-in centre for homeless people. Provide advice and information on housing, welfare benefits and job hunting.

Citizens' Advice Bureau - 0844 477 0808
Blackburn House, Ground Floor, 32 Crouch Street, Colchester, CO3 3HH.
Open: Mon - Wed and Fri, 9.30am - 12.30pm for personal callers and 9.30am - 4pm for telephone advice.
Provides independent advice and information about wide range of issues, including welfare benefits, debt, employment, housing and consumer matters.

Colchester MIND 01206 579080 Crisis line 0845 038 0800 - e-mail

St Mary's House 7 Church Walk, Colchester, Essex CO1 1NS
Assistance for people with mental health problems.

Disability Information and Advice Line (DIAL), Essex Disabled People's Association, Disability Essex - 08444 121771 or Helpline - 08444 121770 or e-mail

Centre for Disability Studies, Roche Way, Rochford, Essex, SS1 1DQ 
Open: Mon - Fri 10am - 4pm.
Provides information and advice on disability.

Essex County Council Social Services - 0845 603 7630 (Adults), 0845 603 7627 (Children and Young People)
Open: Mon - Fri, 8am - 8pm; Sat, 9am - 12noon

Outhouse East 0845 123 2388 e-mail go to -

The Outhouse, 19 East Hill, Colchester, Essex CO1 2QX

Open: Helpline Mon - Fri, 10am - 10pm, drop-in Thurs 7pm - 10 pm and Sat 10.30 am - 1 pm

Information and a listening ear for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, or people curious about their sexuality. Social & drop-in facilities available.

Housing Benefit and/or Local Council Tax Support 01206 282600 e-mail

Colchester Borough Council, Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester CO3 3WG

CBC administers the Housing Benefit system on behalf of the DWP and also the Local Council Tax Support scheme. You can claim directly from CBC by clicking on the link

MS Society - 01206 382563 e-mail -
West Hold, 2 High Street, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex CO5 8QD 
Provide practical and emotional support for people with MS, their families and carers.

Shelter - 0344 515 1860
Eastern Counties Essex and Suffolk HAC, 32 Crouch Street, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3HH 
Open: Mon, Tues and Thu by appointment only.
Appointment service providing information and advice about housing and homelessness.

Signpost - 01206 861800 e-mail -
1st Floor, Greenstead Library, Hawthorne Avenue, Greenstead, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3QE
Open: Mon - Fri 9.30am - 3.30pm.
Independent resource centre for unemployed people - helps with all aspects of job hunting.

THT East (Formerly known as Terence Higgins Trust) - 01206 798595 e-mail

Unit 6 Challenge Way, Hythe Hill, Colchester CO1 2LY
Open: Mon - Fri 9.30am - 5pm (Phone for an appt.)

A drop in for people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Support, advice, information, complementary therapies, counselling, advocacy & respite care scheme.

Warm Homes helpline 01206 282541 e-mail -
Colchester Borough Council helpline to improve insulation and heating systems in your home.

Youth Enquiry Service (YES) - 01206 710771 e-mail -

9 Trinity Street, Colchester, Essex CO1 1JN

Open: Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm

Support young people between the ages of 11 and 25 - information, advice, counselling and family mediation service. Teenage pregnancy clinic (inc. sexual health worker).

National telephone helplines

Community Legal Service Direct - 0845 345 4 345 see

9am and 8pm Mon - Fri, 9am - 12.30pm Sat (if you call outside office hours, just leave a message and you will be called back)

Free legal help and advice from a qualified legal adviser about welfare benefits, debt or education

Jobcentre Plus helpline - 0800 055 6688
Benefits helpline for people of working age - provided by Jobcentre Plus (part of Department for Work and Pensions). 

National DebtLine
Freephone: 0808 808 4000 (Mon-Fri 9.00am-9.00pm; Sat 9.30am-1.00pm)

Tricorn House, 51-53 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B16 8TP.

Step Change Debt Charity Freephone: 0800 138 1111 (Mon-Fri 8.00am-8.00pm, Sat 9.00am - 4pm)

Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG

Payplan Freephone: 0800 716239 (open 24 hours)

Kempton House, Dysart Road, Grantham, NG31 7LE

Pension Credit helpline - 0800 90 1234
Benefits helpline for people over 60 - provided by the Pension Service (part of Department for Work and Pensions). Mon - Fri 8am - 8pm, Sat (applications only) 9am - 1pm

Tax Credit helpline - 0845 300 3900
HMRC helpline for Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.