Citizen’s Advice helping hundreds of people to free themselves of debt

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1066 Citizen’s Advice helped 1,124 clients with debts totalling £4,607,099 in the space of a year.

The figure was revealed in the recently published Annual Report.

The help is given by volunteers, mostly on a face to face basis.

Debt formed the vast majority of enquiries dealt with, but they also dealt with other issues, including employment, benefit and housing.

It is estimated that for every £1 invested in the CAB it saved the local authority £5,45 and the Government £2.95.

Volunteers generated a total of £202,717 in wider economic and social benefits.

1066 Citizen’s Advice are in a strong place going forward with chief executive Tracy Dighton, having completed a consultation with staff, stakeholders and partners to develop a new three year Business Development Plan.

But Chairman Marc Turczanski warned: “The current national picture is very troubling. We are seeing unprecedented levels of increasing debt, poverty and deprivation. We are also in the midst of a local and national housing crisis.

“All of this will affect the health and well-being of a growing proportion of the UK’s population.

“Citizens Advice 1066 staff and volunteers from Board to frontline are fully aware of these challenges and the need for a strong, accessible and responsive bureau.

“Although I have little doubt that the challenges will continue over the coming twelve months, I am very confident that Citizens Advice 1066 will continue to respond to these challenges well but above all else ensure that we are fully available when we are needed most.”

Chief Executive Tracy Dighton said: “We began to prepare for the roll out of Universal Credit in Hastings towards the end of the year. A particular focus is the risk and actuality of homeless-ness that has been seen by bureaux in the national roll out of Universal Credit.

“Academic evaluation of the FADES (First Aid for Debt East Sussex - a project led by Citizens Advice 1066 for the consortium of five bureaux across the County) has shown debt reduction and positive health outcomes for clients.”

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