The Big Lottery has awarded Citizens Advice South Hams nearly £10k to help vulnerable local people
The grant is awarded from the Big Lottery “Awards for All” fund that helps charities maintain essential services to vulnerable people. Big Lottery stated that the award was made as a mark of the quality of work that Citizens Advice South Hams are doing in their community.
Citizens Advice has seen demand for its services grow due to the ongoing impact of austerity and the introduction of Universal Credit.
Janie Moor, CEO of Citizens Advice South Hams said, “ We are delighted to receive this grant from the Big Lottery. The changes in welfare reform are having a major impact on some of the most vulnerable members of our local community. Last year demand for our service rose by 9% and we helped almost 5,000 people, 45% had a disability or long-term health condition, 59% were living on less than £1,000 a month and a fifth were aged over 65, we are expecting a far higher volume this year.
Consequently, our resources are stretched and a two week wait is now typical for a client approaching us with complex problems. This is despite having increased our volunteer workforce by 20% over the past two years.
This grant will allow us to increase the size and skills of our advice team and support them better so that they are more able to help people in our community with complex needs. Having local volunteers supporting local people is an essential part of how we operate as a charity. Clients tell us that having a person with local knowledge is a huge comfort, volunteers tell us it helps make stronger connections to their local community”.