Rahima Rahman from Age UK Camden’s information and advice team has the sort of calm authority that makes you instantly feel you can trust her.
“I love meeting people, and that’s what makes my job very special,” says Rahima Rahman who takes pride in never being late for an appointment. She has worked for seven years as an Advice Officer at Age UK Camden’s information and advice team, and has an advice background working in Camden going back 15 years. That’s an impressive record especially as her job is to help older people smooth out benefits issues and housing and grant applications.
“Our clients are very honest – we just give advice, we’re not policing. I know the reality, if you are on benefits it is hand-to-mouth, and if you have outgoings as well it’s hard to afford to replace a broken cooker, washing machine, fridge or a mattress,” says Rahima, 37, with real sympathy after having helped numerous clients apply via charity to buy new goods they thought they’d never be able to afford but desperately needed.
Many older people are entitled to extra funds but aren’t yet claiming, so Rahima will organise a personal benefits check. “It’s like a full MOT, anyone who has ever had a car can relate to that,” she says explaining that this service picks up on any sums people should be claiming, such as Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance or PIP (Personal Independence Payment). Although the actual extra payment for Pension Credit may only be a few pounds, eligibility also entitles you to free services from the dentist and sight tests. It may also reveal a right to disability, housing and council tax benefits.
“I’ve met a lot of older people in Camden,” says Rahima who finds buses the fastest way to cover the borough and often meets clients on her travels. “Some older people are really inspiring, like one 110 year old lady who doesn’t even use a Zimmer frame. A handful have no friends, no family, no one, but all are individuals with a special story, so every claim is handled individually.”
“People need hope that things won’t be like this forever, so I try to show the bright side of life,” she says explaining why her advice might include benefits help as well as ideas about what to do in retirement and how to meet more people, even if you are housebound.
It’s not just the job Rahima likes, it’s the ability to make those who have been through a difficult time, and who may be grieving, feel hope again. Even when the case is closed she always makes sure that clients know “they are always welcome to come back.”
How to access the service:
Call 020 7837 3777 or email [email protected]
At our office:
45 minute appointments where you can see one of our trained advisers.
Clients have access to a telephone Wednesdays and Fridays, with staff on hand to help if needed.
These are for people who are housebound and unable to leave their homes.
Operating in various locations throughout the borough. Booking is essential. Please call 020 7837 3777.