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Citizens Advice Helps Write-off £5.4 million of Debt for People in Cornwall

Citizens Advice Cornwall has helped write-off £5.4 million worth of unmanageable debts for people in the county according to new statistics released by the charity today.

The statistic is contained in the organisation’s annual report, which also shows more than 8,500 people came to us for advice on a wide range of issues – from debts and benefits to housing, employment, immigration and consumer problems.

Citizens Advice also helped people gain a total of £3.4 million in income, largely through unclaimed benefits.

For every pound invested in Citizens Advice Cornwall, we gained:

  • £2.81 in savings to government and public services (by stopping problems occurring or escalating reducing pressure on health and housing)
  • £11.43 in economic and social benefits (increasing wellbeing, participation and productivity for people we see)
  • £18.80 in value for people we help (by getting debts written-off, helping them claim benefits they’re entitled to and financial redress for consumer problems).

Citizens Advice Cornwall Chief Executive, Gill Pipkin, said:

“We have had another year of strong results in Cornwall, helping to bring new income into the county, but we know there is always more to do to meet demand for advice in one of the country’s poorest areas.

“As a charity, we rely heavily on our donors and magnificent volunteers who provide a first class service throughout the year at our nine offices and five outreaches across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

“Citizens Advice has provided help for people for 80 years but to continue this level of service and to expand to meet future demand, we will depend even more on financial support from both the public and private sector and individual fundraising activities.”

Last year 121 people volunteered with Citizens Advice in Cornwall, contributing 22,730 hours of work for free.

Citizens Advice is a free, independent and confidential service for all members of the community and operates from offices in Saltash, Liskeard, Bodmin, Newquay, St Austell, Truro, Camborne, Falmouth and Penzance with outreach services in Bude, Wadebridge, Callington, Launceston, St Columb Major and St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly.

In addition to face-to-face and phone advice from offices, Citizens Advice also offers:

  • the Government’s Debt Advice Service in the county,
  • a service for cancer patients through the Macmillan cancer charity,
  • Pensionwise
  • advice for victims of crime funded by the Victim Care Unit
  • FINCAP, a project to improve people’s financial skills and awareness
  • Help to Claim – a project to help people apply for Universal Credit benefits