Citizens Advice – ‘bleakest start to the year ever!’
The number of people helped by Citizens Advice hit a record high during the first four months of 2023. That’s according to stark new figures released in May by the national charity that reveal the enormous pressures facing households.
The new analysis shows Citizens Advice helped more people in January to April than in the same period of any other year on record. That same period saw record highs on 70 different advice issues including homelessness, food bank referrals and debt. Recent evaluation of Citizens Advice Broxtowe’s data shows the same trends.
The headline grabbing statistics revealed by Citizens Advice led the charity to report that people did not have enough for basics and were ‘struggling to stay afloat.’ The key points are:
- Local Citizens Advice offices across England and Wales helped record numbers of people between January and April 2023 – 9,600 people a day on average.
- People needing crisis support such as food bank referrals or charitable grants increased by 178%.
- For the first time on record, more people than ever faced a monthly bills deficit where they had more going out than coming in.
Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“The cost-of-living crisis is far from over. The fact we’ve experienced our bleakest ever start of the year shows the government cannot afford to turn their gaze away from the issues people are facing.
“Millions of people are doing everything they can but it’s still not enough. Too many people are living on empty, simply unable to pay their bills and put food on the table. And while staff and volunteers in local offices work tirelessly every day to help people, there’s only so much we can do.
“We can see government support helps, but more is needed in the future for struggling households. For many, life is getting worse, not better.”
Broxtowe’s Citizens Advice service is working to combat the impact on local residents with a series of Days of Action. Thanks to help from Broxtowe Borough Council the local charity is delivering 32 events running into the autumn. For more information and a list of the June events follow the link below:
Citizens Advice national cost-of-living briefing
Representatives of organisations working in the field of poverty relief and politicians are invited to the June Citizens Advice cost-of-living briefing. This month the briefing will be joined by Emma Revie, Chief Executive at The Trussell Trust and Dr Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive at Mind. Dame Claire Moriarty, Chief Executive at Citizens Advice will chair the briefing and explain how the crisis is escalating and what collective support is needed to help people overcome what often becomes a downward spiral of debt and anxiety. The data will be presented by Tom MacInnes, Chief Data Analyst. Book you place at the online event here.
Readers are also reminded that in Broxtowe we have the Financial Resilience Broxtowe project aimed at providing people with long-term financial stability.
Ofcom have introduced new rules which require phone companies to identify and block ‘spoofed’ calls – where scammers have imitated the phone numbers of legitimate organisations. This makes potential victims more likely to answer the call, and act on any instructions. Companies must do this wherever feasible – the rules were originally announced in November 2022, but phone companies have had 6 months to comply.
Volunteers Week takes place 1-7 June every year. It’s a chance to recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make to our communities and say thank you. Volunteers’ Week is entering its 39th year with this year’s theme of ‘Celebrate and Inspire’ we’re hoping to encourage people to take the next step and get involved in volunteering.
Citizens Advice Broxtowe would not be able to function without the contribution made by our fantastic team of 33 volunteers. The training and experience provided is also a great way into work or career change. Last year nine of our volunteers went on to secure employment in the sector although many simply join us to be part of a great team and give back to the community.
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