The work that Citizens Advice carries out in Cornwall is having a big impact on improving people’s lives and turning around their situations, according to the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Rev Tim Thornton.
Bishop Tim made his comments at the Citizens Advice Cornwall annual meeting at Fraddon, which also heard that the charity has helped more than 19,000 people in 2015-16, up 19% on the previous year.
Bishop Tim said: “I believe that what Citizens Advice do and stand for is really important. I want to stress, particularly to all the volunteers who give so much, that what you do is extremely valuable.”
Presenting CA Cornwall’s annual report to the meeting, chief executive, Neil Colquhoun, highlighted the organisation’s achievements and trends:
- CA dealt with 44,753 advice issues throughout the last year in Cornwall
- 47% of clients were disabled or had long term health issues
- Most clients were in the 40 to 65 age range
- 36% of clients came to CA about debt problems, 30% for benefit and tax credit issues and six per cent about financial services.
- For every pound invested in CA Cornwall, £12.92 was returned in public value
- The 160 CA volunteers in Cornwall carried out 28,887 hours of unpaid work worth an estimated £215,000.
CA’s Chair of Trustees, Sue Swift, said: “With the dedicated staff and volunteers we have we are a positive, forward thinking organisation ready to serve an increasing need in Cornwall.”
CA Cornwall’s annual report also showed 92.5% of people were happy or very happy with the access to the advice service and 94% would use it again.
Bishop Tim spoke about the changes in society, which meant people were less likely to see themselves as part of a community.
“We are living in a society of extensive change. People no longer understand they are part of a society or a network because of an increasing trend to individualism and we also live in a post-truth age, where experts are not believed.
“The glue in our society has disappeared and we need to find a way back again. We need to keep thinking about communities and talking about communities and we need to emphasise the impact, value and power of listening to other people, which Citizens Advice does so well.”
Two major new projects have been launched in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in the last year – provision of the Government’s Pension Wise service and supporting victims of crime with financial advice via Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner’s Victim Care Unit.
In addition to the general advice service, Citizens Advice Cornwall also provided information for parents through Cornwall’s children’s centres; for cancer patients and their families through Macmillan cancer care and for people facing problems with debt through the Government’s Money Advice Service.
Notes to Editors:
1 – For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact Wailim Wong, Citizens Advice Cornwall Communications Officer, on 01209-719226 or 07821-793823 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2 – Citizens Advice Cornwall operates offices in Truro, Falmouth, St Austell, Bodmin, Liskeard, Saltash, Camborne, Newquay, Penzance and Bude with outreach offices in Camelford, Hayle, St Columb Major, St Ives, Torpoint and St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly.