Below is a round-up of the local charities and community groups we're supporting as part of our Cost of Living project that help people with debt.
The mission of Citizens Advice Bureau is to provide confidential, specialist advice to assist people with legal, debt, consumer, housing, and other problems. Nation-wide, they have almost 20,000 specially trained volunteers to help with this.
TEST VALLEY CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU - £3,000
The Test Valley branch of Citizens Advice, which is closest to our Andover branch, and they are currently running a campaign called 'Sponsor a Volunteer' in order to recruit and train the amount of new volunteers they need to run the service. The donation of £3,000 will be used to recruit more volunteers and keep their knowledge and training up-to-date.
This grant will help with the recruitment of 3 new volunteers to the team. Volunteers are our lifeblood and a recent quote from a grateful client sums up the work we do - “I shall never forget how kindly I was treated in probably what I would call the lowest phase of my life”.
The £5,000 donation will go to topping up funds that Wokingham Borough Council have given the Wokingham and District branch of Citizens Advice towards a Volunteer Coordinator role. This role will be responsible for recruiting, training and retaining 30 volunteer trainee advisers.
We are really grateful for the donation from Newbury Building Society. In July we had a 59% increase in the number of people needing our help to find a way forward, compared to July 2021. We will be able to use these funds to boost our recruitment and training efforts of Volunteer Advisers who will be able to support more people across Wokingham Borough with their money, employment, housing issues and referrals for essentials including food and clothing.
BASINGSTOKE CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU - £3,558
Between April and June 2022 the Basingstoke Citizens Advice had 1395 unanswered telephone calls, as well as over 400 callers to their office. They will use the funding provided to increase their capacity to answer these calls and close the funding gap in their staffing costs for 2022.
I am hugely proud of our knowledgeable and dedicated team who go above and beyond and make a huge difference to people. This is an extremely difficult time for many people and the demand for our service is overwhelming. We are always looking for new volunteers and this contribution towards their training will allow us to help more people.
CITIZENS ADVICE EAST HAMPSHIRE - £4,500
The £4,500 donation will enable Citizens Advice East Hampshire to employ a temporary paid member of staff to answer calls and give direct, timely advice over the winter period. This funding will mean that the branch can employ a Telephone Adviser for 15 hours per week over a six-month period, helping them to answer more calls from local residents in crisis.
Citizens Advice East Hampshire are delighted to be supported by Newbury Building Society to help us meet predicted rising demand from local Alton residents for our advice and support this winter. The donation will enable us to recruit a designated staff member to be the first port of call for local people struggling with the high cost of living, including paying to heat their home and for food as well as other essentials. Citizens Advice is here to support local residents, whatever problems they face, and our partnership with Newbury will help us do that through a winter that will be very challenging for many.
CITIZENS ADVICE WINCHESTER DISTRICT - £3,000
£3,000 will be allocated to the costs associated with recruiting and training volunteers to help deliver cost of living advice to local people in need.
The team at Citizens Advice Winchester District was delighted to be considered for a donation from Newbury Building Society, and we are grateful to have been awarded a donation to help us meet increasing demand at a time when many households are in financial instability and having to make some very difficult choices. We recently celebrated 70 years of supporting Winchester District residents with benefits issues, housing and employment queries, debt, understanding family rights and more, and funding from local groups and organisations helps us to ensure we are reaching the people who need us most.
If you're interested in volunteering with your local branch of Citizens Advice, please visit their website.
To find out more about the donations we're making in the areas of transport, energy, food, and mental wellbeing, please head back to our Cost of Living hub.