The Difference we Make
Wealden Citizens Advice achieves some fantastic outcomes. In 15/16 we helped:
our clients achieve over £5m in improved financial outcomes, including over £4m in additional income
over 200 individuals and families at imminent risk of losing their home.
But the impact of what we do goes well beyond those who directly seek our help.
We reduce the costs of public services, e.g. through helping to prevent evictions and homelessness; helping to maintain people in work rather than being on benefits; and through improving people’s health and well-being.
We have quantified the impact and value of the Wealden Service using a model adapted and approved by HM Treasury. This estimates that every £1 invested locally produces the following returns:
£2.46 in savings to local and central government such as reduction in health service demand, local authority homelessness services and out-of-work benefits for clients and volunteers, plus
£13.16 in public benefit through wider economic and social benefits. These include improvements in participation and productivity for clients and volunteers, plus
£18.72 in benefits to individuals. These include income gained through benefits, debts written off and consumer problems resolved, much of which will be spent in the local community
This totals over £34.34 return for every £1 of funding received.
A total of nearly £13.5m in benefits, with nearly £1m of this direct savings to the public purse.
Chief Executive Kay Birch commented, “Many people do not realise that local Citizens Advice services are individual charities, primarily staffed by a team of committed volunteers who give their time freely to help others; we don’t get any money from central government. In Wealden it would cost an extra £600k per year to provide the same service with paid staff.
We are incredibly grateful to the local councils and charities who enable us to provide the help that we do, but raising funds is an ongoing challenge if we are to meet the needs of our clients for free quality assured advice.”