Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire (CAWO) has opened a new facility to help support and advise the communities of West Oxfordshire.
Operating out of a private office space facilitated by Cottsway Housing, the ‘Digital Hub’, which was formally opened on 24 May 2018, provides space for 10 additional volunteers and staff to speak to people over the phone, and via web chat.
The new ‘Digital Hub’ will enable the organisation to increase the number of people that receive advice through phone conversations, and web chat, and will help ensure the charity can continue to support people in West Oxfordshire, however they want to seek advice.
Today’s launch event brought together partner agency Cottsway Housing, the Chairman of West Oxfordshire District Council, and several District Councillors, providing an opportunity to see the new CAWO space.
Hosted by Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire’s Chief Officer, the Chair of the Friends of Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire, and Cottsway Housing, visitors enjoyed a cup of tea, slice of cake, and learned more about the work of Citizens Advice in West Oxfordshire.
The formal opening of the new Hub was completed by Nigel Parker, Chair of the ‘Friends of Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire’ charity who fundraise on behalf of CAWO.
The Friends charity donated £10,000 to help bring the vision of the new Digital Hub to life.
The new Hub is already reaching more people, answering 50% more phone calls.
Teresa Archer, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire said:
“We’re very excited to be opening this new facility, and I’m really glad our partners from Cottsway and West Oxfordshire District Council have joined us today for the formal opening event.
“As a local charity it is vitally important that we deliver services that meet the needs of the people in West Oxfordshire. We know that increasingly people are looking for advice via phone chats, and online, as well as the more traditional face-to-face conversations, which is why the new Digital Hub will help us respond to this need.
“We are working to make sure we are there when people in West Oxfordshire need us, whether that’s face to face, via the phone, or online.
“I would particularly like to thank Cottsway Housing for facilitating the use of this office, the Friends of Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire for their generous donation, and Nielsen of Oxford who provided us with office furniture.”
Sue Lakin, Operations Director at Cottsway Housing said:
“We are committed to working with partner organisations to help change the lives of local individuals and families. We see first-hand, and work hard to address, the issue of financial exclusion, and so are pleased to been able to support Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire in this way.
“Offering up our office space means our customers get easy access, and so does the wider community. It is a win-win and a great example of creative partnership working to ensure a vital service is accessible to everyone.”
Notes to editors
• Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire is a local charity based in Witney.
• In 2017/18, Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire helped 3,205 people, with 12,465 issues.
• Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire provides free confidential and impartial advice to people in West Oxfordshire face to face, over the telephone and via web chat. A national website provides advice online, over email and via web chat at www.citizensadvice.org.uk
• It is estimated that for every £1 invested in the Citizens Advice service government and public services save £2, amounting to £420 million last year across the national Citizens Advice network.
• Further questions should be directed to CAWO at firstname.lastname@example.org