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Welcome To Our January 2024 Newsletter

Here’s a quick look back at some of our highlights from 2023:

During 2023 we helped almost 6,500 people with around 14,000 different problems. Benefits, Housing and Debt were the top three issues.

  • We gained over £1.9 million in financial outcomes for our clients.
  • We launched our new weekly drop-in at Baldock Library.
  • We held two music quizzes and a sponsored walk to raise money to support our advice services. 
  • We held workshops and gave presentations and talk in the community and online. Subjects covered included budgeting advice, help with the Cost of Living crisis, scams awareness, energy advice and debt management. Our energy presentation at the Women’s Institute Regional AGM reached an audience of 150! 
  • We met with our local MPs to talk to them about the issues we are seeing locally. 
  • We continued to reach the wider community via our social media channels – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • We supplied a weekly column to our local newspapers and a monthly column to 9 different community magazines across the district. 
  • We attended local events including Royston May Fayre and Letchworth Festival. 

In 2023, our clients gave us some amazing feedback…

Image of a heart and a donation box - text over says 'Give the Gift of Good Advice'.

Make a Resolution to Support Our Community: Make a Regular Donation to Citizens Advice North Herts

In our local community, individuals and families face challenges that can feel overwhelming, as life can throw unexpected obstacles our way. Fortunately, there’s a local charity that stands ready to deliver assistance and guidance all year round – Citizens Advice North Herts.

As a charity, our funding comes from a variety of sources, including the local authority, partners such as local housing associations, grants, central Government schemes, fundraising events – and donations from individuals and businesses.

Keeping a regular flow of funding is a challenge. Delivering an all-year-round service means that our costs are largely constant throughout the year, but our funding is much less predictable.

Why support Citizens Advice North Herts with a regular donation? Citizens Advice North Herts is a local charity that offers free, confidential, and impartial advice on a wide range of issues, including:

  • Housing
  • Debt and benefits
  • Employment
  • Money management

Last year we gave over 6,000 residents one-to-one support with around 14,000 issues. And we held 110 community information events and workshops.

Our doors, phone lines, and emails are open throughout the year, and our team of experienced and dedicated staff is committed to empowering individuals and families to make informed decisions. We help local people overcome challenges to build a more positive future.

Here’s how your regular giving can make a difference:

  • Contribute to the overall sustainability of our charity: With scheduled, predictable income, we can ensure we cover regular costs and continue to operate effectively throughout the year.
  • Fund essential training and development for our advisers: Advisers stay up to date on the latest legislation and provide the most accurate and impactful guidance.
  • Enable us to expand our services and reach more people: We can offer more support sessions, provide more resources, and expand into new areas of need.

 

Make a Commitment to Change Lives

By setting up a regular donation to Citizens Advice North Herts, you’re committing to support those in need, whenever they need support, all year round. Your generosity can make a tangible difference in the lives of local individuals and families, helping them navigate challenges and achieve stability.

It’s a simple act of kindness that can have a profound impact. Together, we can ensure that everyone has access to the support they need to thrive.

Even £1 per month can help make a lasting impact on the lives of those around you.

food with harry
Beth and Cath with Harry from Vutie Beets at the October 2023 Music Quiz

Want to find out more about how to get involved with fundraising at Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire?

Upcoming Fundraising Events in 2024

Saturday 16th March at 7 p.m.

Fun General Knowledge Quiz at St.Paul’s Church Hall, Letchworth. Tickets £12 each. Teams of up to 8. 

Email: communications@nhdcab.org.uk to book your place.

October 2024 (Exact date to be confirmed) CANH Music Quiz –  at Knights Templar School, Baldock

 

If you’d like to take part in either of these events please email communications@nhdcab.org.uk

We’re taking part in the latest Consumer Awareness Week from January 29 – February 4, 2024.

Read our top tips to help consumers shop safely this year:

  1. Delivery problems
  • It’s the seller’s responsibility to make sure the item is delivered to you. Check the delivery address you gave the seller and contact them to ask where your order is. 
  • If the seller claims they’ve delivered it or don’t know where it is, you can ask for a redelivery. You might be able to get a refund in some circumstances.

  1. Defective goods
  • If something’s gone wrong with an item you’ve bought, you might be entitled to a refund, repair or replacement. You’ll have legal rights if the item you bought is:
    • broken or damaged (‘not of satisfactory quality’)
    • unusable (‘not fit for purpose’)
    • not what was advertised or doesn’t match the seller’s description.

  1. What if I change my mind?
  • If you buy in store, you don’t have a legal right to return goods if you’ve simply changed your mind. Lots of shops have their own policies and do allow this, but time limits can vary.
  • If you buy online you usually get a right to cancel, known as a ‘cooling off’ period, but there are exemptions including bespoke or personalised goods, and computer software where the seal is broken.

  1. Pay safe
  • Pay by credit card so you have another form of protection if there’s a problem. The other way would be by making a chargeback or Section 75 claim to your card provider. 
  • Be cautious if you’re asked to pay in an unusual way such as in iTunes vouchers, crypto currency or via bank transfer as this could be the sign of a scam. 

  1. Making a return
  • Get proof of your return – a receipt from a shop or proof of postage. If you pay for return postage check the service you use covers the value of the goods.
  • Using a service that includes tracking means you can prove when a trader received your return. 

Graph showing numbers of Trussell Trust Food Bank Parcels in North Herts

Thanks to funding from the Trussell Trust, during 2023 we were able to offer face-to-face assistance and support on site at our local food banks. Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire now has a Specialist Adviser and a Link Worker working directly within local Trussell Trust foodbanks. The principal aim is to offer assistance that goes beyond providing food referrals, and to find more long-term solutions (for instance, by helping to navigate the complexity of the benefits system).   

 

Through our Link Worker we can offer face-to-face assistance and support on site at the Trussell Trust local food banks, increasing accessibility to advice and support. This service will be continuing through 2024. 

 Read more…

We want to hear from you…

Whether or not you have personally used our service over the last 12 months, we’re interested in getting your views.  

We would like to ask you to take a few minutes to complete our survey about ways of accessing our services and what you think the most important issues will be in our area over the next 12 months. 

We would be really grateful for your feedback.

Thank you!

As the Cost of Living crisis worsens, our local community faces challenges ahead.

We’re grateful for the hard work of our staff and volunteers who support our clients tirelessly. Last year, we assisted nearly 6,500 clients, and reached over 1,000 more people with our talks, presentations and community events. Thanks to all of our team for their dedication.

A big thank you to our funders and stakeholders for their ongoing support.

We’re ready to tackle 2024, putting our clients first and overcoming new challenges as they arise. 

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Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire is an independent, local charity reliant on raising our own funds to carry out our work to improve the lives of residents in North Hertfordshire and parts of South Cambridgeshire. 

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Free Advice Line:

0800 144 88 48

The number above is for the Hertfordshire Citizens Advice Line.   Opening hours are 10 am to 9 pm Monday to Wednesday, 10 am to 8 pm Thursday and Friday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday.

If you would like to contact Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire directly please call us on 01462 689801 and leave a message.

Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire local number:

01462 689801

Use the number above to call the Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire. You will reach an answerphone – please leave a message and we aim to respond within 3 working days. 

If you would like advice over the phone you can call the National Citizens Adviceline on 0800 144 88 48