Our Impact in 2016-17
We are pleased to publish our new Impact Report for 2016-17. This shows how our advice has changed lives and had financial, economic and social benefits. For example: for every £1 invested in ca-scd last year, there was a £2.80 saving to government and public services (fiscal savings) ; £15.75 of wider economic and social benefits (public value) and £14.66 in financial outcomes to the people we help. For the full report for 2016-17 click here.
Award for Cotswold Team
Our team in the Cotswolds is celebrating being recognised at the Cirencester Business Awards 2017 where we came joint Runners’ Up in the Best Team of the Year category.
Sally Pickering, Chief Officer, said “I’m so proud of my team in Cirencester: the volunteer advisers and receptionists and our small number of paid staff have together helped nearly 2,500 households to resolve a wide variety of problems in the past year, from money difficulties to employment issues, housing and family matters. With most volunteers giving around 9 hours a week, working together as a team to provide a seamless services to our clients is absolutely vital. Volunteers give each-other so much support and this team spirit is a large part of why people love to volunteer with us.”
Ms Pickering added “People often don’t realise that Citizens Advice service in the Cotswolds is provided by a locally funded and locally focussed charity which relies on the support of the local community so the Business Awards Event was a great opportunity for us to promote the work we do in the local community and to build new partnerships and we appreciate the Chamber of Commerce supporting us in this way.”
Citizens Advice take part in new Going the Extra Mile (GEM) partnership project
We are excited to be partners in a new project called Going the Extra Mile (GEM). the GEM Project aims to engage with and support individuals in Gloucestershire who are currently dealing with circumstances that are potentially causing barriers to work and move these people closer towards education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment. WE know from our experience that, for many people, difficulties debt, welfare benefit problems or budgetting on a low income is a real barrier to people being able to move forward in their lives so we are pleased to be able to offer money advice to people who are involved in the GEM programme.
This programme is a unique partnership of community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council.
The GEM Project is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.
For more information, please visit glosgem.org
Advice provides positive benefits to health and wellbeing
Our recently published Health and Poverty Impact Reports for the Stroud District and Cotswold District shows how access to appropriate and timely advice from Citizens Advice Stroud & Cotswold Districts has had a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of people who've used our services.
The first section of the report focusses on the links between health and advice:-
- The majority of our clients live in poverty and there are demonstrable links between health inequalities and social and ecomomic inequalities.
- Their problems have a negative impact on their health and wellbeing with 2 out of 3 clients saying their problems made them feel stressed, depressed or anxious.
- However, clients report that the advice we provided had a positive impact on their health and mental wellbeing with 4 out of 5 saying that, after receiving advice they felt less stressed, depressed or anxious.
The second section shows how our advice impacts on the various determinents of health including: child poverty; fuel poverty; disability; homelessness; employment and domestic abuse.
The third section highlights some emerging trends:
- We expect the roll-out of Universal Credit to lead to a greater need for advice on benefits, digital inclusion and financial capability.
- An increase in household debts such as council tax, rent and utility arrears is anticiapted.
- The condition of porperty and security of tenure for private rented sector tenants are likely to be issues of increasing concern.
- Fuel poverty cases caused or excacerbated by prepayment meter issues have risen steadily and we expect the trend to continue.
Prescribing Advice: Pathways to Health
The speaker at this year's Annual General Meeting was our colleague, Neil Storer, from Chesterfield CAB, where their advice services have been recognised as having a positive impact on health and people are now being commissioned so that people can get "Advice on Prescription".
The report Prescribing Advice: Pathways to Health, which you can download here, gives more information about the links between advice and health and is a powerful argument for investing in advice services to improve health and save money.
We have also produced local reports demonstrating how our advice has positive impacts on the Health of people in the Cotswolds and Stroud Districts.