Citizens Advice Mid Suffolk helps clients achieve £1million in financial gains
PUBLISHED: 10:43 23 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:43 23 October 2017
Citizens Advice Mid Suffolk has helped clients achieve more than £1million in financial gains over the past year, the charity has reported.
In 2016/17, the charity supported clients to make gains through benefit claims, employment negotiations, consumer refunds and charitable support.
It also helped manage more than £1.6m of debt through bankruptcies, debt relief orders, IVAs and debt management plans.
At their AGM, the charity said it had seen a 12% increase in clients in the past year, along with a marked increase in the number of clients presenting with mental health issues.
The organisation says it is working with local GPs to create direct referrals for clients who have non-clinical problems, such as debt, relationships, benefits and employment.
Sasha Watson, of Suffolk Trading Standards, also gave a talk at the AGM on the work of Trading Standards, particularly focusing on the impact of scams on local residents.
Carol Eagles, manager of Citizens Advice Mid Suffolk, said: “I would like to thank our superb team of volunteers for their hard work and commitment, supported by our dedicated paid staff.
“During the year, 48 volunteers contributed approximately 19,250 hours of work, and we estimate this had a value of over £357,000 to the local community.”
Derrick Haley, Mid Suffolk District Council chairman, said: “Citizens Advice Mid Suffolk provide a service that the community can’t afford to do without. “This work would have to be picked up by the local authorities if there was no citizens advice, but they do not have the resources to give that service. “I know how hard the volunteers and staff work and the importance of what they offer local people.
“On behalf of the Council I would like to thank them for all their hard work.”
Stephen Burroughes, chairman of Suffolk County Council said: “It’s great to be at the Citizens Advice Mid Suffolk AGM.
“I appreciated Sasha Watsons important and relevant talk on how scammers target our most vulnerable residents and on the work of Trading Standards.
“The Suffolk Citizens Advice network provide a fantastic service to individuals in the county.
“The help that they offer families with changes to their benefits, with debt and resolving family issues is very much appreciated.
“Congratulations to the whole team and well done.”