Category: News

testing

Citizens Advice will provide dedicated help for former Flybe employees and customers.

Citizens Advice South Hams is providing dedicated help for former Flybe employees who have been affected by the collapse of the business.

Staff who have decided they need benefits can now access Citizens Advice’s Help to Claim service.

Citizens Advice’s advisers are on standby to help people make their first Universal Credit claim. This may include assistance with the online application form, preparing for a work coach appointment and checking if your first payment is correct.

Help is available face to face, over the phone and online through webchat and advice content.

Flybe employees can use the following numbers for help which are available from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday:
● England: 0800 144 8 444
● Wales: 08000 241 220 (for clients needing to speak to an adviser in Welsh).

Chief Officer, Janie Moor said:

“We have many former Flybe employees in our community and we are here to help them with free, independent advice. We’ve put dedicated resources in place to ensure we can help anyone who needs assistance. This includes helping anyone who needs to make their first Universal Credit claim through our Help to Claim service.”

Senior Employment Expert at Citizens Advice Tracey Moss said:

“This will be a very anxious time for Flybe staff. We advise them to check with the administrator and their union about whether they should go to work.

“The uncertainty in situations like this can be very frustrating. It can help to “get your ducks in a row” as they say: find out all the information you can, gather any financial evidence you may need to claim benefits and inform your mortgage company.”

Citizens Advice offices in the region are also seeing an upturn in the number of customers seeking advice with the collapse of Flybe.

Senior Consumer Expert at Citizens Advice Jan Carton (she) said:

“Flybe customers who bought tickets directly from the company won’t be protected by the ATOL scheme. However, if you went through a travel agent or other third party you may be covered. Some people may be able to get their money back if they paid by credit card.

“If people have accommodation booked they should check the terms and conditions to see if they can get a refund. If they can afford to pay for another flight, it’s also worth checking if they can alter the dates.

“Unfortunately we’ve found that in these situations scammers quickly jump on the bandwagon. If you’re a Flybe customer and you’re contacted by someone offering to act for you to recover your money it’s more than likely to be a scam.”

“You can find advice on how to spot a scam on our website.”

Our advice on scams can be found here www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scams

Job Opportunity – Accounts Technician

Citizens Advice South Hams has an exciting job opportunity.  Join our dynamic, forward-looking charity as Financial Accounts Technician.  This part-time role plays a key part in the effective running of the charity, looking after all day to day financial matters, preparing quarterly management accounts and providing financial information the small management team.  The salary is negotiable depending upon experience and skills and the working times are flexible.

For full details of the role click here: Accounts Technician JD Jan 2020.

To download an application form click here: Application-Pack.

The closing date for applications is 3rd February 2020.  Completed application forms should be sent by email to Janie Moor, Chief Officer: janiemoor@southhamscab.org.uk

 

Volunteer Receptionist needed

Are you a friendly, confident person who enjoys helping others and has one day a week to spare?

If you are, then Citizens Advice South Hams, the biggest advice charity in the South Hams is asking people to come forward and help. The local charity is looking for volunteer receptionists to help at its main office in Follaton House, Totnes.

Teena Barrett, Advice Services Manager at Citizens Advice South Hams, says, “We are currently experiencing a rising demand for our services and desperately need receptionists to support our advice team. The reception role is key to making sure our clients get the help they need. As well as welcoming members of the public, the role will suit someone who is well organised, enjoys helping others and is confident with IT.

We already have an amazing group of 55 trained volunteers who work as advisers alongside a small number of paid staff, helping local residents with their problems. All of our volunteers say that working with us and helping others is enormously satisfying. Some use the experience as a way into paid employment”.

The role of receptionist requires a short induction course and not the full adviser training. It is a volunteer role with paid expenses.

If interested please email reception@southhamscab.org.uk for more details and an application form

Partnership supporting Totnes’ vulnerable residents pleads for local funding

Located at the Mansion in the centre of Totnes, three local organisations (Caring Town, Totnes Caring and Citizens Advice South Hams) are working in partnership to provide a free drop in service that connects local people with the support they need.

Visitors can pop in to the Mansion and chat with the friendly staff from all three organisations to find useful information about local services and activities that support health, care and well-being.  Between them, they help with a wide range of issues such as how to get help with claiming benefits, who to turn to when experiencing bullying and harassment, how to get help finding support groups for specific health problems, where to find support following recent bereavement and how to find social activities.

Caring Town recently surveyed our local community and 1,000 people responded. It showed that 47% of people said they have a physical or mental health condition lasting 12 months or more, and of those, 70% said this impacted their ability to carry out their daily life a little or a lot. In another question, given their worries/needs and current level of support, about a third of respondents said they are only just about coping (which means they are vulnerable should more pressures arise), and 7% said they are not coping or in crisis. Clearly there are a lot of needs in our community.

The big success of the drop in service at the Mansion has been that the town centre location has made it easier for our most vulnerable residents to get the vital support they need. There has been particular uptake of the service by local people with mental health support needs, people with caring responsibilities and older people with mobility issues and lack of transport.

Victoria Wolf of Totnes Caring said ‘Totnes Caring is really pleased to have a presence in the centre of town to make it easy for people to talk to us in person about our services to support vulnerable older people and about our volunteering opportunities.’

The service has now been running for two and a half years, and has seen a steady increase in local people seeking information and support. However the competition for local funding is fierce, and this successful partnership is now pleading for funding to continue its vital work in the heart of Totnes.

Fiona Ward of Caring Town said ‘We are asking Totnes residents for their help in continuing our good work. Totnes Town Council is running a survey to ask local residents to rank 5 spending priorities. We ask Totnes residents to take a look and complete the survey online, or do the paper one that will soon be posted through the door. All of the 5 issues presented are important, so competition is hot and every response counts. Question 4 represents this combined service for vulnerable people. Please show if you value these services by completing the survey to let the Town Council knows that you wish these services to continue with the help of their funding.’

Caring Town Connectors and Totnes Caring are available from 10.30am – 2.30pm every Monday, Tuesday and Friday at the Mansion (36 Fore Street, Totnes, TQ9 5RP). The Caring Town Connectors are also at St Johns Community Café in Bridgetown every Wednesday 10am-1pm. Citizens Advice South Hams drop-in sessions are at the Mansion every Wednesday 9.30am-12.30pm. 

A massive thank you to everyone who took part in our recent Wills Week campaign

Bartons Solicitors, Start Point Law, Beers Solicitors and SW Law all contributed to our best ever Wills Week by offering to write simple Wills free of charge for donations to Citizens Advice in recognition of the work we do in the local community. Plus thank you to all the people who made a Will and donated to us, those donations will help us to carry on with our core advice work across the South Hams.
It’s thought that half of adults in the UK don’t have a Will which makes things very difficult for their family if they die, often with heart breaking consequences which we often witness at Citizens Advice. Anyone wanting to find out more about why a Will is important should type Wills in the search box on our home page.

More Local people turning to Citizens Advice in it’s 80th year of service

Citizens Advice South Hams reveals an increase in the number of people turning to its advisors for help with Universal Credit (UC) issues, debt, housing and utility bill problems this year compared to last, as well as a general overall increase in demand.
The charity is celebrating 80 years of service, it was formed at the onset of World War II and originally helped people deal with the impacts of war, such as rationing, evacuation and losing homes in the Blitz. In its 80 years of service, the organisation has helped the British public find a way forward with a wide range of problems.
Citizens Advice today is made up of around 300 separate, small, stand-alone charities which come together to share information on problem trends in local communities such as UC problems, scams, loan sharks, mis selling of PPI and the current campaign aimed at the Competition and Markets Authority to tackle the loyalty penalty that customers are charged in essential markets including insurance, mortgage and broadband.
In such cases as PPI and penalty payments for loyal customers the charity applies its seldom used power to make a super-complaint, which can only be made by a small number of consumer organisations. It requires regulators to investigate markets or market practises that they think are significantly harming the interests of consumers. Our local Citizens Advice South Hams office works with all the other UK offices to add weight and evidence to make change, in fact they were instrumental in communicating problems with UC to the government when it was first introduced.
Janie Moor said “I’m extremely proud to be CEO of Citizens Advice South Hams we are a small part of the national Citizens Advice network. We both stand alone as a charity who has to find funding and volunteers to survive and we’re part of the huge national advice and information network that has been at the front of championing for UK citizens’ rights for the pass 80 years.
We wanted to say a big 80th anniversary thank you to our staff and volunteers who all work incredibly hard, sometimes in difficult circumstances. The owners of Sandwell Manor just outside Totnes recently offered us their lovely building for the day and we combined a regular team meeting with an 80th celebration, the sun shone and everyone had a great time.
We are just about to ask for more volunteers to come forward for training with taster days in the Flavel in Dartmouth on Nov 8th, and the Watermark Centre Ivybridge on Nov 15th. We also need to keep finding funds to train these volunteers and pay the small number of staff we have, but It’s becoming increasing difficult to secure. We recently lost a staff member who is a fully trained debt adviser because funds weren’t there to renew the contract, it was heart breaking.
In the last year we’ve helped nearly 6,000 local residents with over 11,750 issues, some of those residents were the most vulnerable in our society, families with young children, the elderly and those with disabilities. We’re looking for both volunteers to train and work with us and funders both from local business and individuals who would like to donate to us as a charity. We’d like to be around for the next 80 years to represent the South Hams and support its residents.“
For information on volunteering and taster days email volunteering@southhamscab.org.uk

Do you or someone you know struggle to pay energy bills?

Citizens Advice will be extending its work and offering Energy Advice Checks in community centres and jobcentres across South Hams.

The local charity will help people find the cheapest deals, apply for discounts and grants, help reduce energy and water debts as well as making sure clients are living in homes that are energy efficient.

Nick White, from Citizens Advice South Hams says, “If you are struggling to pay your heating costs and/or keep your home warm, comfortable and healthy, please contact us. On average householders who haven’t previously switched supplier can save up to £300 a year.

“There are lots of things we can do to help, not only in finding the cheapest tariff but help in accessing the £140 Warm Home Discount, applying for grants to improve the energy efficiency of your home and help tackle billing issues.

“We have a home visiting service to advise on homes with expensive heating systems, draught, damp and mould. Recently we helped a householder whose storage radiator was not wired properly. The landlord has fixed the problem and reimbursed the tenant by £700. In another case we helped a client who could not understand why he was paying over £2,000 a year in energy bills. We spoke to his energy company, identified the error and facilitated reimbursement totalling £985.”

For more information on how to save money on energy costs, contact
energy.advice@southhamscab.org.uk or ring the Energy Line on 01803 659 733
and leave a message, a Citizens Advice South Hams Energy Adviser will ring you
back.

Fundraising News

A big thank you to the Bay Horse, Chris Hall and all the Totnes businesses who kindly donated prizes for our pub quiz raffle last night, we raised £200 – Harrison’s Garage, the Seven Stars, the Albert and Morrisons who donated this hamper.

Fundraising News South Hams CAB

 

Also a big thank you to the Durant Arms who held a Diwahli Night and raised £170!

Your
Feedback

I found the staff of Citizens Advice South Hams to be very understanding and helpful. I was so worried that without your help I could not have resolved the issue alone, I am so grateful for the help I received.

Deborah – May 2021

Our awards and achievements

Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Support Us

Support South Hams Citizens Advice with Give as You Live

Skip to content