Changing lives by helping people to solve their problems is in everyone’s interest, and in July Citizens Advice published an impact report -https://blogs.citizensadvice.org.uk/blog/citizens-advices-impact-is-truly-remarkable/ - which demonstrates the difference we make to individuals and how this benefits society.
The report puts a figure on the value of Citizens Advice and evidences that for every £1 spent on the Citizens Advice service, we benefit our clients by £11 and we save government and public services at least £360 million every year. We estimate our total social and economic value to society to be over £2 billion. This was calculated using New Economy’s cost benefit tool, which has been approved by HM Treasury
So what difference do we make for people in Manchester? We have been working with a team of researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University to understand the impact of what we do. Between April 2014 and March 2015 Citizens Advice Manchester helped 26,209 people resolve 32,681 problems. In this period of time we increased the household income of Manchester residents by over £4.4m.
Our range of advice services means that people get access to the right advice at the right time; we are able to resolve 78% of problems at the first point of contact, with our dedicated specialist advisors available to help those people who have more complex problems.
Most importantly we asked the people who we have been able to help what impact Citizens Advice Manchester has had for them:
76% told us they had noticed a positive improvement in their health, 81% noticed a difference in their piece of mind and wellbeing as a result of their problem being solved, and 75% feel our services improve their ability to resolve problem for themselves in the future.
Charlie* got in touch with Citizens Advice Manchester in 2012, as a result of losing his job he was struggling to pay the rent and support his family, he describes his situation at that time as ‘desperate…It was quite difficult for me with the children to go on. I didn’t have anywhere to go.’ A friend advised Charlie to go to Citizens Advice Manchester, and through consultation with an advisor he managed to take control of his debts and find a new job. For Charlie Citizens Advice Manchester ‘gave me my life back’ he now owns his own business and believes that along with his own hard work, the advice that he received when he was in a desperate situation helped him achieve all that he has. He says that seeking help from Citizens Advice Manchester brought him ‘peace’