Adviceline off to a flying start
Welcome to the second issue of Focus in which we report on some of this quarter’s key projects at Citizens Advice Westminster, and hear from volunteers and staff on what they have been doing since the start of 2017.
Huge increase in clients since launch of Adviceline
In our winter newsletter, we featured the successful launch of our new Adviceline telephone gateway service at the end of October. I am very pleased to report that the service, managed between six local Citizens Advice offices across London, is working very successfully.
The aim was to expand our ability to deal with more clients by telephone and to ensure that Westminster residents have more opportunities during the week to speak to an assessor over the phone. Although it has been an exciting challenge to adjust to a new system, the quality of the service and commitment we provide has not changed.
Accessibility for Westminster residents has greatly improved, as Adviceline is open during extended opening hours (10am – 4pm every weekday). There has been a huge increase in the number of clients this first quarter of 2017.
Adviceline dealt with 1822 telephone enquiries for the period January to March, compared with only 429 for the same period last year. This is a 425% increase and represents an efficient use of resources and a great improvement in our service delivery to local people.
Well done and thank you to our staff and volunteers for all their hard work in delivering this tremendous result.
If you need to call us the Adviceline number is: 0300 330 1191, and it costs the same as a local call rate from a mobile or landline phone.
Join us on the London Legal Walk- 22 May
We are doing the London Legal Walk again this year to raise money for Citizens Advice Westminster. Please visit our website and sponsor us for this high-profile, annual fundraising event. Don’t forget we are a charity and need your support to continue delivering our valuable community services.
Many people are not aware that we are a charity and, therefore, dependent on sponsors and other funders to enable us to deliver essential advice services to the local community.
We have recently launched a Crowdfunding initiative, as this is an effective new way of raising money on-line, digitally, which is delivering benefits to charities of all sizes. But it relies on all of us in our network to reach out to our own contacts, friends, families and other organisations we know and work with.
We should be urging them to get on board with a donation, no matter how small. For the beauty and unique feature of crowdfunding is that even a modest amount of money can add up to a significant figure when you attract multiple donors . Our initiative with Localgiving is also eligible for matched funding in some cases and, of course, Gift Aid can increase the value of each donation from an eligible tax payer.
It takes continued funding to pay for our specialist homelessness adviser and also for providing our Foodbank service. Without this funding, some of the most vulnerable in the community will have nowhere to go when they are faced with eviction or the trauma of not being able to provide food for themselves and their families.
We hope you find Focus interesting and informative and if you would like to get in touch with us about any of the articles or with your comments please email: firstname.lastname@example.org