Latest News

Welcome to our news page where you can find all the latest stories to bring you up to date on what’s been happening in your local Citizens Advice

Real life stories are very valuable to help us promote our services to the people who need assistance and to the people who fund us. If our service has helped you and you are prepared to share your experience, please contact us so we can tell your story here.

Job Vacancy: Executive Assistant and Office Manager

We are wishing to recruit an Executive Assistant & Office Manager.

30hrs/week – worked over 4 or 5 days. Based in our Stroud office.

The successful candidate will be competent in providing support to our CEO and the Trustee Board, maintaining office systems, able to use their own initiative and work well under pressure. They will ensure the efficient and safe running of the organisation’s offices in Stroud District and support a team of admin volunteers to provide administrative and reception support to our advice team.

Salary: £19,819 pro rata
Please click below for an application pack:
Executive Assistant and Office Manager Advert
Executive Assistant and Office Manager Job Description
Executive Assistant and Office Manager Application Form
Notes on completing the application form
Rights to work in the UK
Closing date: 9am Monday 25th February 2019
Interviews: Wednesday 6th March 2019
 We welcome and encourage enquiries and applications from people that reflect the diversity of the communities which we serve.

Published: Sun 17th February 2019 @ 17:30 -

The Benefit of Volunteering

VolunteeringWe are recruiting Trainee Advisers for our next training programme which begins on 8th March 2019. Initially, trainees meet up once a week for a half day training session where we cover interactions with clients including answering a telephone enquiry and interviewing skills. A further half day is spent in one of our two offices - Stroud and Cirencester observing other advisers working with clients. 

After the initial ten week's training, trainees will start to work on the telephone for half a day per week whilst spending the other half day attending training sessions run by our specialist advisers covering key topics such as housing and homelessness, debt, benefits and employment.  This second part of the training programme takes about ten weeks to complete, trainees then continue learning and development by advising for 8-10 hours per week.

If you would like to find out how you could make a difference and hear from volunteers – visit our Volunteering page.

To find out more, please contact our training officer on 01453 758252 ext. 214

Published: Sun 17th February 2019 @ 17:47 -

Big Energy Saving Week (BESW) - January 2019

Once again we participated in the Big Energy Saving Network campaign. This is a national campaign to help people cut their energy bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to. The week focused on raising awareness of how to save money on energy costs by switching energy supplier or tariff, accessing discounts or grants, and making homes more energy efficient.

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Partnership Events took place at Cirencester District Council, Stroud District Council, Stroud Money Forum and Corn Hall, Cirencester.

Goody bags full of useful information were given away during the week at many of our outreach locations.

Published: Sun 10th February 2019 @ 17:18 -

Change of CEO

Sally Pickering, our Chierf Officer  has recently given notice that she will leaving Citizens Advice to move into freelance consultancy work. Sally said "Taking the charity forward over the past four years has been an enjoyable challenge but, now that there is a stable and excellent team of staff, volunteers and trustees in place, secure funding for the immediate future and an exciting Business Plan agreed , it feels like the right time to move on to seek new challenges".

The CEO post is being advertised this week with the aim of a new CEO being in place by September. Sally will have a phased departure, reducing her hours from mid-June but continuing part-time over the summer to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.

Published: Mon 30th April 2018 @ 11:29 -

Where do you do go for support when you've always thought you'd never need any?

Here's the story of Julie, who came to Citizens Advice for help earlier this year....

Like so very many people, there was a time when I took my good health for granted, especially my mental health.  I had always been a strong person and someone to whom other people could turn for support.  I never stopped to think how vulnerable I might become, when my own life’s trials began to pile up insidiously upon me, one by one.

So it was that, during my middle years, I found myself in a position whereby a combination of life events had not only taken the wind out of my sails, but had completely turned my life upside down.  A disabling chronic pain condition, which I was struggling to manage; a new job in a department which was experiencing enormous pressures; then, to top it all, three unexpected bereavements of very close family members within a few months; all came together and served to debilitate me in a way I had never known before.  I felt that the ground was crumbling beneath me and I just didn’t understand what was happening.

It started quite subtly, with time off work because I was experiencing physical symptoms when struggling to cope with pain on a daily basis.  Over time, I found myself in a downward spiral of pain, exhaustion and depression, and was eventually signed off work by Occupational Health.  There then followed some very difficult months at home: continued depression, anxiety with panic attacks which led me to be unable to leave the house at times, elements of paranoia, a total lack of energy whereby I couldn’t even rise up from the sofa for hours on end to do anything purposeful for my husband or family.  Added to which, lack of exercise, and craving for sugar to give me some energy, also led to a weight gain of nearly three stone in a year.  I was almost unrecognisable as the fit, healthy, positive, hard-working achiever I used to be.

My ill health continued over the year and, sadly, I was never able to return to my position at work.  I lost my source of income, as my contract with my long-term employer was eventually terminated via the Capability Procedure.  They assured me, however, that my condition wasn’t permanent and that there was, therefore, no need for them to release my occupational pension prematurely.  Great emphasis was also placed upon assuring me that they would do everything in their power to support me back into work when I felt ready to return.  Feeling very ill and vulnerable, I fully believed them, mainly because I felt that I had always been a hard-working and loyal employee who deserved to be looked after.

It took many years before I regained my confidence within the working environment, and that probably only happened because I was lucky enough to have been supported by a local, private organisation who believed in me and in my abilities.  I am eternally grateful to them for that belief.

Finally, the time came when I felt that I was able to pick up my career again and return to my former employer and so I applied for a position with them.  I was delighted to hear that I had been successful at interview and I so looked forward to returning to my previous level of work!  All the usual formalities were put in place and all that was awaited was a fitness report from their Occupational Health Department, before we could agree upon a start date.  I don’t remember even being asked to come for an examination, or meeting with a doctor, but to my utter amazement, the offer of the position was subsequently withdrawn because of that report.  Apparently, they considered that I would never have the physical health which would enable me to fulfil the duties of the position; neither were they able to put anything in place which would help me cope with my chronic pain condition in order to fulfil those duties.

I was really hurt and felt very confused.  How could it be that I was fit enough not to have my occupational pension released on the grounds of ill health, yet unfit for employment?  Also, what had happened to all the assurances that they would help me back into employment as soon as I felt that I was ready to return?  These reasons seemed to me to be not only unfair but discriminatory, and so I began to seek help in putting a case together against my former employer.

This was when Citizens Advice really came into its own, as I just couldn’t have considered such an undertaking without their support.  They were amazing at building up my confidence and guiding me through the paperwork at each stage and, when they felt they could assist me no longer due to the need for legal expertise, they put me in touch with a firm of solicitors who took on my case on, on a “no win, no fee” basis.  Of course, I knew that there would be a penalty to pay for my health, in standing up for what I believed to be right, but it was worth it as my case was eventually settled out of court.  It was the principle involved that counted to me, not the small financial compensation.

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My case also led on to some changes in procedure within that organisation which will, hopefully, stop others finding themselves in the same position as myself in the future.  Also, I was eventually able to secure the release of my occupational pension on the grounds of ill health, albeit at a much lower rate than it would have been if they had agreed to its release before terminating my employment.

It’s a shame that any prospective employee has to resort to legal proceedings in circumstances such as this but, if it weren’t for Citizens Advice how would our voices be heard?

Published: Mon 19th March 2018 @ 10:10 -