Citizens Advice Bucks Applauded for work in Cost-of-Living Crisis

We were thrilled to welcomed Dame Clare Moriarty DCB, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice for last week. 

Clare says, “I really enjoyed my visit to Citizens Advice Bucks. It was lovely to meet with staff and volunteers and hear in detail about the challenges of working on the front line of advice during a cost-of-living crisis.   I was also so impressed by the innovative and forward-thinking approach being taken by the charity.  It is clear there is an absolute commitment to developing the way services are offered to make sure that everyone from the most vulnerable to the most capable has the information and advice that they need when they need it most.” 

It was Clare’s first visit since she was appointed Chief Executive and since we merged as an organisation. 

clare visit

We have had a successful year and have helped 12,000 people last year with 34,000 issues, despite having a reduced number of volunteers because of the pandemic. We have moved swiftly to develop services to respond to need in Bucks during the pandemic, and during the ensuring cost of living crisis. It was great to share this success with Clare.

Chief Executive for Citizens Advice Bucks, Thalia Jervis explained our new plan,  “Citizens Advice Bucks is here for everyone – but we want to make sure that, in the face of escalating demand, our services are focussed on those most in need – people who desperately need our help.  We are targeting areas where we know that people are living in poverty in our county.  We are also building key new partnerships to help us serve those who are really suffering in our communities.  Our one-to-one adviser time is in demand, and we want those that need most help to have access to it – whether that is because they have mental health difficulties, dementia, autism, or anyone who is facing a set of complex problems. Despite the charity’s focus on those most in need, the charity is still here for everyone.” 

 Head of Service, Craig Glynn explains “We are still here for all.  Many people will be able to find the answers they need on our website, which puts nationally reviewed trusted information at your fingertips twenty-four hours a day.   But for those who need more support – our phonelines and email – via our website, are always open.   We have taken thousands of calls during the pandemic and continue to do so.   Clients have let us know that receiving our expert advice via a phonecall is so much more convenient for many than travelling into one of our offices (and cheaper with rising transport costs).  This means we can make sure that our face-to-face appointments are for the most complex issues or those who would really struggle to access our advice and help any other way”. 

 The charity hopes it can deliver significant and lasting change to poverty with its new strategy, which is aimed at helping people earlier. Chair, Jane Mordue explains why, “We know helping people sooner is the right thing to do.  We don’t want people falling into significant difficulties, such as high levels of debt, before they get the help they need. If we help clients to find us earlier, we can help them before problems escalate, making them easier to solve.” 

Our new strategy can be read here