The Core Service (our drop-in appointments are currently suspended due to Covid restrictions).
Anyone who needs advice can call in to our offices in Bargoed, Risca or Blaina. They will be seen quickly and offered a short interview so we can find out what the problem is and help them decide what their best next step is. That may be giving them the information and support they need to sort out the issue themselves, referring them on to another agency or a solicitor, or making an appointment for them to return and discuss their issue in more depth. During Lockdown we have delivered a telephone and a virtual service via webchat and other video technology to keep advice channels open. Funding for the core service comes from Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent Borough Councils.
Advicelink Cymru (Single Advice Fund)
Advicelink Cymru is a Welsh Government funded service designed to help people who are most in need of advice services, particularly those who would not usually seek advice. The service started in January 2020.
Advicelink Cymru offers advice on welfare benefits, debt, employment, education, housing, immigration and discrimination. The service aims to help people access the right advice, at the right time and make it easier for them to access services again if they need further help—whether that’s about the same issue or something new.
Confident With Cash
Confident with Cash works with Families First service users and support workers to help families with multiple issues. We work with the whole family to resolve their debt and welfare benefits problems and develop financial skills to help them make better informed choices in the future.
The service also provides a home visiting debt advice service to Supporting People agencies and their service users. Involving support workers in the advice process improves the likelihood of the client following the advice through to a successful outcome.
Fuel Poverty Projects
We run a number of small projects focussed on identifying and assisting clients who fall within the definition of ‘fuel poor’.
- Big Energy Saving Network delivers a programme of outreach to vulnerable consumers, focussing on helping them reduce their energy costs through assisting with actions such as choosing tariffs, switching suppliers and the take up of energy efficiency offers.
- The Utilities Project aims to raise the awareness of all clients about ways of limiting household energy costs and consumption. It enables the identification of ‘fuel poor’ customers and helps them access assistance to better manage their fuel costs.
- Big Energy Saving Week funds events and publicity to spread information on how to save energy and thus achieve cheaper bills.
- Energy Best Deal funds the provision of energy advice in small group sessions.
CACBG works in partnership with Citizens Advice Cardiff & Vale and Citizens Advice Ynys Mon to deliver the Wales-wide Pension Wise service. We help people understand what they can do with their pension pot money. We offer guidance appointments where clients can talk through their options, ensuring they have the information they need to make the right decision.
Help to Claim
Help to Claim gives people the support they need to claim Universal Credit, from starting an application to getting their first full payment. Help to Claim is a multi-channel service delivered in person, over the phone and via web chat. Clients can self-refer, be informally signposted by, for example, their GP or another charity, be referred by DWP staff or by other partners such as local council.
Test and Learn
Our Gwent-wide Test and Learn service helps those with Autism and or a learning disability maximise household incomes. Working with Mencap we have been reaching out to people with Autism and/or a learning disability and their carers to offer a full benefit check to make sure they are receiving their full benefit entitlement.
Aneurin Bevan Mental Health Service
This project provides the full range of social welfare law advice, but with a particular focus on welfare benefits to users of ABUHB mental health services. The service may be delivered by in-reach on ABUHB premises, by phone or by home visit. The service is run in partnership with Citizens Advice Newport and Citizens Advice Torfaen.
Litigants in Person Support Strategy (LiPSS)
Funded by the Access to Justice Foundation, the LiPSS project supports individuals faced with having to make sense of the First Tier Appeal Tribunal system with advice and practical support in preparing for hearings and by providing representation when necessary.
Caerphilly Contact Centre Services
Our Caerphilly office is a 100 seat contact centre that provides a number of services under contract to national Citizens Advice.
- Citizens Advice fund an initial advice service to callers to the national Adviceline helpline.
- The Money Advice Service fund specialist debt advice by telephone, web chat and email to clients from England and Wales.
- Citizens Advice fund advice to clients calling the national Consumer Adviceline Service.
- The Citizens Advice Witness Service Initial Contact Centre provides support to people giving evidence in the criminal justice system and links them up with volunteers based in their local court.
- Welsh Government funds a generalist and specialist telephone advice service through the Single Advice Fund programme. This service is run in partnership with Citizens Advice Cardiff & Vale.