Citizens Advice Bureau’s £161million economy boost

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Citizens Advice Bureaus across Herts generated a value of £161million for the economy between 2014 and 2015, according to new figures.

The ten Citizens Advice organisations across the county – Dacorum, North Herts, Stevenage, East Herts, Watford, Hertsmere, St Albans, Three Rivers, Welwyn Hatfield and Broxbourne – all work to help reduce cases of homelessness.

Their efforts have saved local authorities a total of £1.6 million.

Additional value is created for by helping clients negotiate local processes, such as welfare reform changes and rescheduling council tax arrears.

Volunteers for Citizens Advice in Herts help clients – who in turn then can participate more productively in society.

Developing volunteers’ skill sets and providing an engaging work environment builds their potential to pursue new work or education opportunities.

Catherine Bennett, communications officer at Citizens Advice Hertfordshire, said: “The clients we support are some of those most in need in society – such as people on low incomes or with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

“As well as the direct impact we have, our advice helps to prevent problems escalating or spreading to other aspects of people’s lives.

“It is impossible to put a value on everything we do but where we have, we’ve used robust impact research.

“Our figures are a conservative estimate; we know our value is greater.”

One of the many services offered is financial capability education, which helps prevent problems occurring in the first place.

Research and campaigns work on local and national issues is also an essential part of the work CAS Herts does – all this adds value for individuals who are not directly in touch with the service.