Demand surges as cost-of-living bites in Broxtowe
Citizens Advice Broxtowe has seen a surge in residents asking for help with the cost-of-living. In January our charity helped 921 people with the problems they face. This is an increase of 144 on the same time last year which in itself was a record January. The service is on the front-line of the cost-of-living crisis and in this newsletter we would like to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers who have worked under extraordinary pressure. We pride ourselves that Broxtowe residents turn to Citizens Advice in a crisis and despite the obvious pressures we are dedicated to helping our community. They helped people to over £250,000 in financial gains this January.
This increase comes off the back of a rise in demand during the whole of 2022 when the service helped 6,832 clients or 569 clients each month on average. The main areas of enquiry are income maximisation, housing and debt. We are seeing an increasing number of clients whom we help access charitable grants and food vouchers. Seeking advice makes a real difference, in the financial year 2021/22 we increased our clients income by a total of £4.7 million and we expect the current year’s figure to far exceed this.
In addition to our core service we have also developed specialised projects that can help target groups most vulnerable to economic crisis. These include our Financial Resilience Project, Advice on Prescription and specialist debt and housing services. Often these cases are very complex and include negotiation and representation with third parties. We take an individualised approach to holistically look at each person’s circumstances so get in touch if you need help. We are an independent charity here for our community. Thanks to our funders these projects have increased our capacity to help more people when they need it. However, the majority of clients would not receive the helped they need without our much valued core service that handles the majority of enquiries.
Citizens Advice, our national body produce a cost-of-living dashboard each month. They have identified five key indicators that are measured to see how Citizens Advice clients are being impacted by the current economic situation. The data produced shows a significant rise in these key indicators of household financial exclusion. A recent blog by Citizens Advice called ‘An Unequal Crisis‘ explains how the crisis is not impacting people equally.
WALK WITH US – and raise funds for Citizens Advice Broxtowe
Given the pressure our service is under it is essential that we strive to meet the increase in demand and on 24th and 25th February we are asking people to undertake a one mile walk to raise funds for Citizens Advice Broxtowe. As an independent local charity we are responsible for raising the resources it takes to help thousands of people each year with the problems they face.
Second Day of Action increasing our impact
On the 30th January we held our second Day of Action this time in Stapleford. We were joined by the Broxtowe Borough Council’s Financial Inclusion Team. The day pushed our total financial gains for the dedicated events to over £80,000. The events have been specifically designed to act as a lifeline for people struggling with the cost-of-living and raise awareness of the help available. We are seeking the resources to continue these activities throughout the year.
From 4th may 2023 you will require valid photo identification or have a Voter Authority Certificate to participate in elections in the UK. Here’s our quick guide to the new rules. Photo ID includes something like an in date passport or driving licence. We can help with applying for a Voter Authority Certificate if you do not have either of these.