Citizens Advice CBG calls on Senedd candidates to recognise the “Value of Advice”
Senedd election candidates are being urged to recognise the value of advice services and pledge their continued support for funding, if elected this May. Citizens Advice Caerphilly Blaenau Gwent (CACBG) are asking all candidates to show their support for continued funding of free advice services throughout Wales.
With Citizens Advice Cymru, CACBG has launched the #ValueofAdvice campaign, designed to highlight the positive impact that free, independent advice services have in the country. Collectively, they are encouraging all of Wales’ political parties to commit to maintaining funding for the valuable services which help thousands of people every year solve their problems, free of charge.
Since March 2021, CACBG has helped around 7,200 people solve a range of problems. The issues trained advisers helped with included debt advice and financial capability support, Universal Credit and benefits claims as well as housing and utility services queries. Over the past twelve months, as Wales has battled the unprecedented social and economic challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic, we have seen more than ever the value of independent advice. Thousands of families across Wales have sought help to navigate the most challenging of circumstances.
Sarah (not her real name) saw her household income increase by £650 a month after receiving advice from CACBG. A digitally excluded couple have seen their income rise by around £73, thanks to support from CACBG. And a mother of one benefited from back payments totalling £5,500 after she had been initially turned down for Disability Living Allowance to support her son.
But the provision of advice doesn’t just help individuals. At a time when public finances are under ever greater strain, advice services save local and national Government and public services millions of pounds per year.
New figures from Citizens Advice Cymru show that in 2019/20, advice services generated:
- £41 million in savings to government and public services
- £278 million in wider economic and social benefits
- £300 million in financial value to the people we help
Citizens Advice Caerphilly Blaenau Gwent Chief Executive Simon Ellington said: “The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has shown just how important being able to access free, impartial advice is to the people of Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent. Since March we have advised a total of 7,297 people. This free, impartial, independent advice has been a lifeline for these people, their loved-ones and wider public services.
“Ahead of the 2021 Senedd elections, we’re calling on local representatives and candidates to recognise the value of advice, and pledge to maintain funding for services across Wales.”
Notes to Editors
For further information contact Communication Officer Emma Gray email@example.com or call 07398901977 .
Citizens Advice Caerphilly Blaenau Gwent
- Citizens Advice Caerphilly Blaenau Gwent is part of the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across Wales and England, which includes the Citizens Advice national charity.
- For over 80 years we have been delivering free, independent, confidential and impartial advice, available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
- We have more than 170 employees and 50 volunteers who have been expertly trained to deliver services throughout Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and several UK-wide services.
- This dedicated team of staff, volunteers and our Trustees, helped to keep advice channels open during the Covid19 Pandemic. They responding to need and logistical issues swiftly and effectively at a time when demand was increasing.
- We have offices in Caerphilly, Bargoed, Brynmawr and Risca and operate from a number of our partners’ sites.
- Every year we help hundreds of people with energy advice and information on energy related issues.
- With Citizens Advice Cardiff, we co-deliver the Pension Wise service at dozens of locations across Wales.
- During 2019/20 we helped over 125,000 people face to face, by phone, email and webchat.
- From our Caerphilly Contact Centre we deliver five multi-channel services across England and Wales for national Citizens Advice:
- the Adviceline and Advicelink Cymru advice services;
- the Witness Service Referral Hub in support of people giving evidence in the criminal justice system;
- the Consumer Service helpline; and
- the Debt Advice Specialist helpline.
- To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit citizensadvice.org.uk