Supporting Manchester Pride - "Class of 2017"

Citizens Advice Manchester will be out in force at Manchester Pride weekend.  Our local team took part in the parade in 2016 alongside our colleagues from Citizens Advice National.

While i'm sure you will be busy having fun come into our photo booth to have their picture taken with our many hats, wigs and glasses!  Also this year we will have Rock n Roll theme so have a look at our Twitter feed to see the photos from the weekend or add your own @ManchesterCAB.

While it was great to have so much fun we are there to make sure people know how to access our vital services.  Over the weekend last year we spoke to almost 1,000 people, and gave them information on the support we can provide and the many ways they can get in touch.

Citizens Advice Manchester calls for government to fix Universal Credit before it fully rolls out in Manchester

Citizens Advice Manchester calls for government to fix Universal Credit before it fully rolls out in Manchester

Citizens Advice Manchester is warning that Universal Credit is putting people’s financial security at risk as they wait six weeks or more for their first payment.

Many people have already turned to Citizens Advice Manchester for help with "live service" Universal Credit, a temporary version of the benefit available to people in the area with straightforward claims.

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Thank you to our volunteers!

Citizens Advice Manchester celebrating the inspirational volunteers who dedicate their time to solving people’s problems and making a difference to their lives.

To mark Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), we're is shining a spotlight on the remarkable contribution of our team of 70 volunteers who give up hundreds of hours each week to help people find a way forward.

In the last year, Citizens Advice Manchester has helped 28,398 people with problems ranging from housing and debt issues to benefits and employment rights.

Our volunteers have played a crucial role in ensuring that people across the city get the advice and support they need to get on with their lives.

Citizens Advice Manchester offers a wide range of voluntary roles - from events volunteers and digital advice coaches to campaigners and trustees. Watch this space for a blog post from one of our volunteers coming later in the week.

Andy Brown, Chief Executive Officer at Citizens Advice Manchester said: “Thanks to our amazing volunteers we are able to continue making a huge difference to people’s lives. Our volunteers give up their time for free to help people who may be going through problems to get back on their feet.

Volunteering also brings its own rewards and is a great way to meet new people and learn new skills. If you can spare a few hours each week, we’d love to hear from you.”

Nationally, Citizens Advice relies on 23,000 volunteers who help provide support in 2,900 locations across England and Wales - helping 2.7 million people every year.

Thanks to the contribution volunteers make to local Citizens Advice, two out of every three clients have their problem solved and four out of five say the advice received improved their lives.

If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering with Citizens Advice Manchester, visit our volunteering page to complete an application, or visit us at one of the following locations throughout the week:

  • Thursday 1st June - East Hub. Garrett Way, Gorton, M18 8HE 10.30 - 2.30

  • Friday 2nd June - Civic Centre, Wythenshawe, M22 5RX 11.00 - 2.30

  • Monday 5th June - Central Library, St Peter’s Square, M2 5PD 11.30 - 2.30

  • Tuesday 6th June - Harpurhey Library, Rochdale Road, M9 4AF 10.00 - 1.00                                                              - Longsight Library, Stockport Road, M12 4NE 3.00 - 4.00

WhatsApp Debt Service

WhatsApp Debt Service

Do you use WhatsApp and need Debt Advice?
You can now get advice by sending us a WhatsApp message to the number below. 

Our WhatsApp number is:  +4367762123785

Copy this number and create/add us as a new contact.  Before sending your first message, please check that you can see the Citizens Advice Manchester logo as the profile picture. 

By sending a message to this service you are confirming that you’re happy with our terms and conditions and the way we’ll collect, store and protect your personal information. Please see below for full details and terms of service. 

 

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New access points

New access points

We now deliver assisted digital help at a number of venues across the city. During these sessions we can help you with online advice, help with online services such as Manchester Move or Universal Credit and provide support in accessing our other advice services. These sessions take place

  • Yes Centre, Briscoe Lane; Mondays 12.30 - 3.30pm
  • Harpurhey Library, Rochdale Rd; Tuesdays 9.30-12.30pm
  • The Hive, Plant Hill Rd; Wednesdays 10am-1pm.
  • Longsight Library. Tuesdays 10am-1pm
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What are basic bank accounts?

What are basic bank accounts?

Fee ­free basic bank accounts are designed for people who can’t get a standard current account or can’t use their current bank account due to financial difficulties. You don’t get an overdraft facility, so you can’t get into debt, but you can pay bills by Direct Debit or Standing Order and get a debit card you can use to pay in shops. You can have your money paid in and take it out over the counter or via a cashpoint. Withdrawing money from a cash machine at a bank or Post Office in the UK is usually free, but you may be charged if using private cash machines. 

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Transferring from DLA to PIP? We Need Your Help!

At Citizens Advice Manchester, we don't just help you with the problems you face, we also do research and campaign for change on the issues that are causing you to need advice in the first place. People who had previously been on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) are gradually being transferred onto the new benefit, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and we're keen to understand how that process is going for people. If you're transferring, and you've had some form of decision back on what you'll now be receiving (even if you want to challenge that decision), we'd be really grateful if you could take our survey by clicking here:  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DLA-PIP

Scams Awareness Month - Pensions Special!

Citizens Advice Manchester is calling for people in Greater Manchester  to be on their guard against pension scams.

A new report from national Citizens Advice found nine in ten people (88%) miss common warning signs - such as unusually high investment returns, cold calling and offers of free financial advice - despite feeling confident they can spot fraudsters’ tricks. 

The findings reveal a mismatch between people’s confidence in spotting a scam and their ability to do so. Three in four (76%) said they are confident they can identify a pension scam but just 12% were actually able to do so when a scam was presented to them.

Citizens Advice Manchester says scammers’ tactics are shifting away from pension liberation schemes offering high rewards and moving towards free pension reviews and advice as a first step towards tricking people out of their pension pots. 

To help people avoid becoming victims of a pension scam, Citizens Advice Manchester has shared warning signs to watch out for:

1.    Ignore any contact you receive out of of the blue about your pension. This could be in person, online, on the phone or in the post

2.    Watch out for any promotion offering you more than 8% return on your pension investment

3.    Be wary of any offer to access your pension before 55. Accessing your pension early can mean you are hit with a high tax bill of 55%, as well as losing any pension savings in a scam.

4.    Don’t feel pressured to make a decision about your pension straight away, instead take your time

5.    Watch out for extravagant sounding investments based overseas

6.    Check the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) online register to make sure the company approaching you is legitimate. Anyone giving financial advice should be registered

7.    If you are making an investment, check the FCA ScamSmart warning list for known investment scams

8.    If you are transferring a pension, ask your current pension provider to check the HMRC registration of the new scheme to check it is legitimate

The report also reveals people are particularly at risk of scams from phone calls, post and emails which come out of the blue. As many as 10.9 million consumers have received unsolicited contact about their pension in the last year.

 

Alun Jones (Pensions Guidance Specialist) at Citizens Advice Manchester  said:

“Fraudsters are changing their tactics to rob people of a financially secure retirement.

“While scammers continue to use offers of unusually high returns and lucrative overseas investments as a way to fool victims, more people are being approached with free pension reviews or financial advice as a first step towards tricking them out of their hard earned pension savings.

“You shouldn’t feel pressured to make a decision about your pension so take your time and make sure the offer is genuine.  Before considering any kind of pension review or investment, you should check the Financial Conduct Authority’s website to make sure the company is legitimate. If you are are worried that you may have been targeted by scammers Manchester Citizens Advice can help.

“If you are over 50, Pension Wise guidance can help you understand what warning signs to look out for and avoid falling victim to a pension scam. Manchester Citizens Advice can help you book a Pension Wise appointment.

Brexit - how it affects you

Brexit - how it affects you

The UK public has voted to leave the EU. This means it’s likely that some laws will change in the future - but not immediately.

Everything will stay the same until new laws are made.

If you’re an EU citizen living in the UK, your rights to live, work or get benefits won’t change unless the government passes new laws.

If you’re a UK citizen living in the EU or travelling to the EU, your rights won’t change yet either.

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New job vacancies

New job vacancies

Citizens Advice Manchester is a progressive and dynamic advice service offering exciting career opportunities for individuals to join our team.  

We are looking for enthusiastic and motivated people to help deliver a first class advice service via our new health and well-being referral hub.  The hub will provide a single point of entry to link patients with advice and support services.  The new roles are for an Enhanced triage adviser and a Form filler. 

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Demand for Advice rising

Demand for Advice rising

By using the detailed data collected by Citizens Advice Manchester it is possible to highlight growing advice issues and trends for Manchester. From January to March 2016 Citizens Advice Manchester dealt with 15,382 different advice issues this was a 27% increase on the same   period in 2015.   As seen in Q3 almost all advice categories saw double digit %  increases. The ongoing impact of the changes to benefits, particularly around PIP and ESA, saw this enquiry  area leap by over 1,500 to 5,401. 

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