Merger pays dividends
More people are seeking expert help in Bucks as a Citizens Advice merger has proved crucial in the pandemic.
Citizens Advice offices in Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern and High Wycombe came together to form Citizens Advice Bucks in April 2021. Bringing together the three organisations has established an even stronger advice service for Bucks people . Clients can count on expert advice and the merger has led to a 46% increase in people being helped this spring.
Thalia Jervis, Chief Executive for Citizens Advice Bucks, said: ‘We are thrilled that we have been able to help so many clients in our opening few months as a new organisation.
‘It is wonderful to see our impact in the first quarter and to know that because of our dedicated team of staff and volunteers so many people have had access to the help they need, when they needed it.’
The charity’s top five advice areas have been benefits and Universal Credits, debt, housing and employment. It has expert and quality-checked advisers on hand to deal with all sorts of issues and have also provided help in areas such as consumer goods and services, immigration, travel and discrimination.
Wayne Stretch, a trainee adviser, said a highlight was ‘helping people who can only see a blank wall in front of them to see that there is hope and support for them and helping them get through their difficult time. The relief that you hear in their voice and the gratitude they give for you supporting them is humbling’.
Jane Mordue, Chair of Trustees for Citizens Advice Bucks, said: ‘Whilst merging any organisation is complicated, especially in a pandemic, it is very welcome to see the figures and to know that this is what was needed for Buckinghamshire.
‘So many people have struggled and have been in need of a our advice and this is sadly not going to stop anytime soon.
‘As the furlough scheme comes to an end we are expecting a spike in people who will need our help. We know that losing jobs could be a real risk.
‘We are here to support everyone going through this difficult time. And we will continue to do what we do best – help people find a way forward.’
How to donate:
Citizens Advice Bucks is an independent charity, funded by donations, that provides free and confidential advice to anyone in the county. To donate, visit https://citizensadvicebucks.org.uk/donate