“This year we are celebrating 80 years of providing free, independent and confidential advice for people facing challenges across England and Wales. Their empowering stories span the decades since Citizens Advice was first created on 4 September 1939” (Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, CivilSociety, 15.5.19). Over the years, we’ve also helped change government policies and industry practices so they work better for us all.
A lot has changed since we have been around – both in the challenges that our clients face and the increasing diversity of the support we offer. But our service is as vital as ever. Lord Newton of Braintree, former Secretary of State for Social Security, was quoted as saying that the “fact is that if citizens advice bureaux did not exist, the Government would have to invent them.…” (Hansard, 8.12.2011).
We must reach more people
Nationally, 2018/19 was a big year for Citizens Advice — and the numbers show it. Last year, there were 28,500,000 visits to our website, we helped 1,273,000 clients face to face and 867,000 people used our phone service. Our Chief Analyst says we’re reaching more people, but we’ve still got more to do to make sure everyone who needs our help receives it.
On 15 May 2019, Citizens Advice published a 3-year plan for achieving our vision which remains true to our roots. We’re making improvements to ensure we keep adapting to what people need in a rapidly changing, uncertain and complex world.
Citizens Advice Waverley
More locally, Citizens Advice Waverley will continue to provide an excellent service which is adapted to local and community needs in a proactive way, now and in the future.We will continue to provide everyone with high-quality, inclusive services that focus on local people’s needs, particularly the vulnerable, disenfranchised and socially excluded.
How Citizens Advice will achieve its advice ambitions for 2022
Our ambitious vision of a seamless customer journey: Sarah’s Story
Sarah’s story illustrates what we mean by a seamless customer journey.
There is a bailiff at Sarah’s door. She goes online and finds helpful advice on Citizens Advice website about how to stop bailiffs getting in. Sarah discovers that an adviser is available via chat to talk her through what to say and give her confidence. Once the bailiffs leave, the adviser suggests Sarah should get help from a specialist debt adviser. They discuss the type of session that would suit her best. Sarah works and has children so wants to continue to receive advice online. Once her kids are asleep, Sarah then books an evening video call session.
Sarah receives an email with forms and instructions on how to upload them for the adviser to consider. She receives a reminder message a few days before her session is due. The initial case notes mean that the adviser can help Sarah quickly apply for debt relief order. With the order in place, the adviser books Sarah in for a financial capability session.
Worried about something? Don’t be afraid to ask!
Don’t put it off – Citizens Advice Waverley can almost certainly help. For free, independent, confidential advice call:
0344 848 7969
Citizens Advice Waverley is a registered charity. You can help local people by making a donation at https://waverleycab.org.uk/fundraising . Your donation stays local and will ensure we are here to help local people when they most need it.
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