Helpline: 0800 144 88 48

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Our Impact

Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire is here for everyone who needs us. 2022/23 was a challenging year as inflation and the increasing cost of essentials continues to affect everyone in our community.

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More people need us than we can currently serve. Your support will enable us help more people who need us, now and in years to come.

What Difference Did We Make?

Each year we give nearly 6,000 residents of North Hertfordshire the knowledge and confidence to find a way forward. We do this by providing advice, education and support, and influencing policies and practices that affect our clients. Everything we do and the way we work, benefits individuals and our local communities.

People are financially better off as a result of our advice.

We generated £1.8 million in financial outcomes for our clients in 2022/23.  These financial outcomes include benefits gained, debts managed, debts written off and refunds gained.

This means that people have more money in their pocket, are better able to manage any debt and have increased confidence in managing their money and budgets. 

People’s health is improved as a result of our advice.

68% of our clients reported feeling less stressed, depressed or anxious after receiving advice from CANH

45% felt that their physical health had improved.

Solving practical problems means that people are better able to cope with and participate in everyday life, including improved relationships with others and being better able to remain in or find employment

Our Value to Society

As well as having a positive effect on individuals, our advice outcomes create a wider impact on our local community.

For every £1 invested in CANH in 2022/23 we generated *:

  • £2.78 in savings to government and public services (fiscal benefits)
  • £17.51 in wider economic and social benefits (public value)
  • £8.71 in financial value to the people we help (specific outcomes to individuals)

*Data from National Citizens Advice’s Treasury approved financial data modelling tool

What did we help with?

We can help with a broad range of issues.  Last year our top seven issues were:

Enquiry Area Number of Issues Raised
Benefits & Tax Credit & Universal Credit 3,396
Debt 1800
Housing 1,632
Relationships & Family 778
Food Banks & Charitable Support 663
Utilities 623
Employment 527

Client Stories

Jessica’s Story

Jessica was 7 months’ pregnant when she approached us for help with buying food.  Jessica and her husband were made redundant from their jobs in London and obtained new jobs in Letchworth but lost their jobs again due to Covid-19.   Jessica and her husband live in privately rented accommodation and were claiming Universal Credit.  Jessica was struggling financially with a small income and high bills.  She had already found out she was not entitled to maternity pay as had not worked enough weeks in the time period required and she was very worried about how they would manage when the baby was born.

We looked into various options of maximising Jessica’s income and carried out a debt assessment. Our Adviser:

  • provided Jessica with supermarket vouchers from the Household Support Fund as a short term solution. 
  • supported Jessica with applying for benefits related to having a new baby, including a £500 Sure Start maternity grant and child benefit once the baby was born.  
  • ensured that Jessica communicated with her work coach regarding her change of circumstances after the birth including the addition of the Child Element and extra for the housing element of Universal Credit.
  • gave Jessica details about healthy start vouchers and details of a Warm Home Discount with her current supplier.  
  • negotiated a more affordable repayment plan with the creditor for Jessica’s small debt.

 

Jessica and her husband are now on a more sustainable footing financially while they continue to look for new employment.  Jessica was able to relax for the end of her pregnancy and start looking forward to the birth of her baby.

Mario’s Story

Mario came for help as he was struggling to make ends meet and afford food.  Mario’s wife did all the household finances and since she died a few years ago, Mario has been finding it difficult to cope and stay on top of things.  Mario receives state pension, plus Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits for his 15 year old son.  

Our adviser identified that Mario wasn’t receiving everything he was entitled to and helped Mario make a claim for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and Pension Credit.  As he has a disability they also applied for Attendance Allowance.  

As a result of our advice, Mario is now over £10,000 a year better off and can now afford all basic necessities for him and his son.

Client Feedback

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Our Projects

Our General Advice service, funded by North Herts Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council, provides information, signposting and advice.  It also provides access to our range of funded projects that enable us to provide specialist or casework services.  Our current projects are:

Financial Inclusion

  • Debt & Benefits Specialist Advice for settle tenants (funded by settle)
  • Letchworth Financial Health provides debt and benefits advice, financial capability workshops, and community outreach on all things money in Letchworth (funded by the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation)
  • Trussell Trust Financial Inclusion provides specialist debt and benefits advice to Letchworth Food Bank users (funded by the Trussell Trust)
  • Crisis Intervention provides debt and benefits casework for those with urgent and complex needs (funded by Hertfordshire County Council)
  • Disability Benefits Form Filling (funded by the Graham Rowlandson Foundation)
  • Welfare Benefits Appeals: our clients benefit from the services of a county-wide benefits appeals specialist (funded by Hertfordshire County Council and based at Citizens Advice Stevenage)

Housing

  • Homelessness Prevention is a service for those with rent and mortgage arrears, including court desk representation (funded by North Herts Council)

Energy

  • Energy Advice Project provides one to one energy and smart meter advice to fuel poor and vulnerable clients who are struggling to pay their bills (funded through contributions from the energy suppliers’ Warm Home Discount obligations via National Citizens Advice
  • Big Energy Savings Network provides energy information and advice to consumers in an outreach setting (funded by BEIS via National Citizens Advice)
  • Carbon Monoxide Advice provides carbon monoxide awareness information (funded by Southern Gas Network via National Citizens Advice)

Advice in multiple areas:

  • Moving Forwards Together is a partnership of CANH, Create Community and North Herts & Stevenage CVS which provides a personalised package of support including practical advice, mentoring, wellbeing courses, digital skills and access to volunteering opportunities to those who are out of work (Funded by the Community Wealth Building Fund via North Herts Council)
  • Advice in British Sign Language our clients benefit from the services of a county-wide BSL adviser (funded by Hertfordshire County Council and based at Citizens Advice Welwyn-Hatfield)

How you can help grow our impact

Donate

You can donate to us regularly or as a one off by making a bank transfer or via Justgiving

Volunteer

Volunteering provides opportunities for you to learn new skills, make new friends, and feel part of a community.

Partnerships

We are looking for corporate partners to work alongside us to help to support people in our local community.

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