Welcome to the Citizens Advice North Herts Spring 2023 Newsletter
In our latest newsletter, we have updates on our new Hitchin location, Church House, and the expansion of our Adviceline opening hours. We feature a special Q&A with one of our volunteers, Ian Scammell.
You can also donate to or register to take part in our upcoming sponsored walk and find out why fundraising is so important to us.
Update on Accessing Our Advice Services
Access Citizens Advice North Herts Services Your Way
The clients we see from across North Hertfordshire, whether it is from our towns such as Royston, Baldock, Letchworth, or Hitchin or from the villages, are all different. From clients working flexible hours to those with caring responsibilities, to clients who would struggle to come into a Citizens Advice office, we offer a wide range of points of contact so you can get the advice you need.
If it’s easier for you to visit us face-to-face, we are here for you. We have a new advice session in the centre of Hitchin on a Tuesday morning, at St. Mary’s Church House. In Royston, we are at the Town Hall on Monday and Wednesday mornings. We are also at Melbourn Hub (appointments only) on a Monday and Wednesday morning. Our Letchworth office in Station Road is open 9.30am to 4pm Monday Tuesday Thursday and 9.30 to 12noon on a Wednesday.
Call us direct at 01462 689801 and leave a message, and we will quickly get back to you, or call the Hertfordshire Citizens Advice Line.
Thanks to Hertfordshire County Council, the Advice Line is now open later in the evenings and on the weekend and is available between 10 am to 9 pm Monday to Wednesday, 10 am to 8 pm Thursday and Friday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday.
Whether you want to email your enquiry, explore our extensive self-help guides, book a video call, need British Sign Language support, or any other assistance to get your issues resolved, visit our website northhertscab.org.uk or leave us a message at 01462 689801.
However you choose to contact us, Citizen Advice North Hertfordshire is your local charity ready to give free and impartial advice to all residents in North Hertfordshire and South Cambridgeshire.
Our clients have given us some amazing feedback…
“Thank you so much I would have never done it if it wasn’t for your help.”
“You have certainly changed my life. I feel less stressed and have a better handle of my circumstances and how to embrace them.”
“I think your service is invaluable and I could not cope without it ”
‘Aabsolutely great, with great, knowledgeable and extremely polite staff. I can’t find
any fault with what they’re helping me with thank you.”
“I have had very good and positive experiences.
CAB has always been very accommodating and understanding with empathy. A service that is DEFINITELY needed and appreciated”
Our Next Fundraising Event
Sunday 14th May
An 8 mile sponsored walk which will start and finish in the hamlet of Redhill.
All money raised will go to support our vital generalist advice service.
Why Support Our Fundraising Event?
As a local charity we rely on funding and donations to keep our services going so we can continue providing vital support to our community. Times are really tough right now and there are so many people who need our help – our services are stretched to the limit.
Our most recent fundraising event was a music quiz in February. Thank you to everyone who supported this event.
Our amazing staff and volunteers are working flat out to help people struggling in our community, but we know there are many more people who need our help.
We need your support to raise money so that we can be here for those who need us.
Volunteer for Us
What is volunteering?
Ultimately, it’s about making a difference, no matter how small or big, that contributes positively to society. It’s about choosing to do this without expecting anything in return.
It comes in many forms, from regular commitments such as providing information and advice to your community or driving people to their appointments, to one-off tasks such as marshalling at charity events or litter-picking.
We’ve all done it informally without even thinking about it, doing your neighbours shopping, for example.
Connecting with people from all walks of life, whether that’s your fellow volunteers or the people you are helping in the community. This is just one of the reasons why people choose to give up their time and volunteer. And the social side is great, but there’s so much more to gain from it.
A personal sense of achievement, feeling like you’re making a difference and broadening your experience of life were amongst the top 4 reasons given in a survey conducted by NCVO, with enjoyment being top.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Everyone has skills to share, and volunteering gives the perfect opportunity to develop these further, and even learn new ones. The knock-on effect of this can be improved confidence, and possibly boosting employment prospects.
Combine all these, and it’s easy to see why volunteering is a great way to help improve your wellbeing, mentally and physically.
How to volunteer?
With so many different roles available, there’s something perfect for everyone’s interests, abilities, and availability. You will be welcomed with open arms, but how to decide which is best for you?
To mark His Majesty the King’s coronation, organisations across the country will be showcasing their volunteering opportunities as part of The Big Help Out.
At Citizens Advice North Herts, you can volunteer in various roles, adviser, receptionist, administrator, to name but a few, and you can find out more by visiting us at the GoVolHerts Hertfordshire Volunteering Fair in Hitchin Market Place on Friday 12th May.
If you can’t wait until then, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01462 688000.
Meet Ian Scammell, Our Volunteer Benefits Specialist Adviser.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself
A: I live in Hitchin, am married and have three adult children with six grand-children. I retired
from my main career in 2014 but have done various part-time jobs since, some for Citizens
Advice. I qualified as a Social Worker in 1980 and worked at different times on child
protection, adult community care, and mental health services. I then had management roles
in Social Services and prior to retirement in the NHS. I no longer work in a paid role.
Q: Why did you decide to volunteer with CANH?
A: When I retired I was looking for a volunteer role to keep me occupied and to continue
contributing to the community. Citizens Advice was the perfect opportunity to use my social
work skills in a positive way. It also appealed to me as a way to get back to helping people
directly after having been a manager for many year
Q: How often do you volunteer?
A: I do three days a week from about 9.30 to 4.00 partly from home and partly from the
Q: What does your typical day volunteering involve?
A: I have new clients booked into appointments slots to either see me in the office or speak to
me on the phone. I also have a group of ongoing clients who need more detailed help. On
any particular I can be involved in helping complete benefit applications, doing benefit
checks, trying to sort out benefit problems, helping to appeal adverse benefit decisions, or
representing clients at appeal hearings.
Q: What have you got out of volunteering with CANH?
A: It is really interesting work that keeps me occupied and makes me feel that I am doing
something worthwhile. I am able to work with a group of dedicated and friendly volunteers
and staff. I also meet lots of clients who share very personal details of their often very
troubled lives and who are very grateful for the help we can give.
Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking of volunteering?
A: Go for it. Whatever your background and skills you will have something to offer. We need
Q: To relax and unwind I………
A: Do some gardening, go to cricket and rugby matches, go on holiday, play with the
grandchildren, go out for meals etc with family and friends, and watch too much TV.
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter! We hope you’ve enjoyed it. We welcome feedback and if you have any questions, please send an email to us at email@example.com
Finally, a big thank you to all of our funders and stakeholders for always supporting us!
We look forward to the rest of 2023 and continuing our work, putting our clients first and overcoming any new challenges as they arise.