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

Claire Brown News

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