Citizens Advice across Oxfordshire reveals benefits and tax was its top local issue last year, with 24,800 people turning to its advisers for help.
Citizens Advice celebrated 80 years of service across England and Wales on 4 September 2019. The charity was formed at the onset of World War II. It originally helped people deal with the impacts of war, such as rationing, evacuation and losing their home in the Blitz. In its 80 years of service, the organisation has helped the British public find a way forward with a wide range of problems.
Across England and Wales, Citizens Advice helped 100,000 more people this year compared to last, with a total of 2.7 million people helped by the charity and its network.
The charity’s national impact report shows the number of people seeking advice face-to-face, via email, phone or webchat in the 2018-19 financial year:
- Consumer and utilities: 930,000 people, up 11% from last year
- Benefits: 740,000 people, up 4% from last year
- Debt: 380,000 people, up 2% from last year
- Housing: 260,000 people, up 3% from last year
Of the people the charity helped, 42% of people reported they had a long-term health condition or disability.
In 2018-19, for every £1 invested in Citizens Advice, the charity generated at least (at a national level):
- £2.07 in savings to government and public services – a total of £485 million in savings. This is by helping stop problems occurring or escalating which reduces pressure on public services like health, housing or out-of-work benefits
- £10.92 in wider economic and social benefits – a total of £2.6 billion in savings. This is by solving problems that improve lives through better wellbeing, productivity and participation for the people we help.
Chief Officer for Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire, Teresa Archer said:
“We are incredibly proud to mark 80 years of providing free, independent and confidential advice for people across England and Wales.
“Locally, we are committed to helping as many people as we can so they can find the knowledge and confidence they need to move forward, whoever they are and whatever their problem.
“We’re here for anyone who needs free, impartial and independent advice.”