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Citizens Advice services share £625,000 through Martin Lewis Fund

20 March 2017

Citizens Advice services across England and Wales are today celebrating sharing £625,000 from the Martin Lewis Fund to help make a real difference to local people’s lives.

Awards of £25,000 are being given to 25 local Citizens Advice services to deliver projects that will provide more support to particular groups of people and help them in new and inventive ways.

Local Citizens Advice will be able to share their learning and potentially encourage others to launch similar projects so that more clients across England and Wales benefit.

Projects include:

Citizens Advice Elmbridge West: Will train volunteers to provide longer term support for people who have experienced domestic abuse and additional problems they may face such as housing and finance to help them towards independence.

Citizens Advice Denbighshire: Will engage mothers and families in need of support by working with their local health visitor and midwifery team to deliver early advice on problems such as debt, benefits and managing finances which will in turn improve their health.

Citizens Advice South Sandwell: Will promote and deliver advice services to people who do not have English as their first language and are not currently served by interpreting services locally by using a digital translation platform, trained volunteers and staff.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“We are delighted to be able to announce this funding to 25 Citizens Advice services. The funding will give them a chance to build on what they have already achieved with their pilot projects. Not only will the funding help local people to solve their problems, but the local services will capture what works well and share their learning so that other people across England and Wales may also benefit. We’re very grateful to Martin Lewis for his ongoing support.”

Martin Lewis said:

“Few realise Citizens Advice, which is at the bedrock of British society, is a charity not a government agency – a shame as the work it does is truly life saving. I’ve met many people who were suicidal over legal or money life challenges they couldn’t cope with, yet a visit to their local Citizens Advice put them on the path to dealing with it.  As a huge fan of the organisation, I wanted to do something to help it pioneer new ways to reach out and improve people’s lives, and I’m excited to see where this takes us.”

The awards announced today follow an initial award of £1,000 in September 2015 to test initial project ideas. The funding comes from a £1 million donation from Martin Lewis to Citizens Advice across the UK in 2015.

Projects had to fit into categories including making people more digitally skilled, working closely with health and social care providers, and future opportunities for volunteers.

The 25 Citizens Advice services are:

Citizens Advice Braintree, Halstead and Witham

Citizens Advice Bury District

Citizens Advice Central and East Northamptonshire

Citizens Advice Denbighshire

Citizens Advice East End

Citizens Advice Elmbridge (West)

Citizens Advice Enfield

Citizens Advice Exeter

Citizens Advice Greater Manchester

Citizens Advice Kensington and Chelsea

Citizens Advice Leicestershire

Citizens Advice Liverpool Partnership

Citizens Advice Merton & Lambeth

Citizens Advice Middlesbrough

Citizens Advice Peterborough

Citizens Advice Powys

Citizens Advice Sandwell

Citizens Advice Sheffield and Law Centre

Citizens Advice South Somerset

Citizens Advice Southend

Citizens Advice Stockton & District

Citizens Advice Stroud & Cotswold Districts

Citizens Advice Taunton

Citizens Advice Three Rivers

Citizens Advice Welwyn Hatfield

-Ends-

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.