Happy 80th Birthday To Us!

Citizens Advice North Herts: Your lesser-known very well known independent local charity.

Most people have heard of Citizens Advice:

If you need help or advice, CAB.
Rent problems? CAB.
Issues at work? CAB.
Debt and money problems? Ask your local CAB, they’ll point you in the right direction.

All very true, and we’re very happy to help, but how do you think your local CA (we dropped the Bureaux in 2013) pay the bills?

Conversations recently with supporters, clients, members of the public, and volunteers alike, showed a strong perception that we’re funded by Central Government to provide a support service for the local community.

Actually, we are an independent local charity, entirely reliant upon the grants we receive, those we apply for and the generous support from the communities we support.

Being part of Citizens Advice is a bit like a franchise. There is a national brand, providing some central support in the form of policies, procedures, and shared systems, but as a legal entity, North Herts Citizens Advice is completely independent with its own board of local trustees.

2019 is our 80th birthday, and improving our level of engagement with our local communities is a priority for us. Part of this is just to raise our profile a bit, and another part is to improve people’s understanding of what we do, how we are funded, and what supporters can do to help us.

A little bit of background; in 2018/19 Citizens Advice North Herts supported over 5,000 people with 11,500 issues. We have 18 part time members of staff and 73 volunteers, most of whom volunteer twice a week.

Every £1 invested in Citizens Advice North Herts (CANH) generated at least £15.11 for clients due to improvements in their benefits, or by debt or consumer problems being resolved.

Of the people we helped:

  • 7 in 10 people felt less stressed, depressed or anxious
  • Nearly 1 in 2 felt their physical health had improved
  • 3 in 5 found it easier to manage day to day

To provide the services we do, we work closely with national and local grants to fund us generally, or to provide specific project support, such as projects relating to debt, energy or Universal Credit. As always, our thanks go to our funders, and if you’d like to know more about who supports us, please click here to see our last annual report.

Less than 1.5% of our funding comes from donations, and we’re hoping, through our improved community engagement, to see an increase in this figure both this year and next.

We’re looking to build relationships with individuals and organisations, so please get in touch if you’d like to know more.

Perhaps you work in a company that supports local charities throughout the year, or maybe for one of the larger companies who have a fund that can be applied for. Perhaps you’d be interested in making a small regular donation to support us in our work, or maybe you’re interested in helping us in a volunteer capacity?

Either way, we’d love to hear from you, so please sign up for regular updates, and follow us on social media. We’ll be sharing stories and opportunities throughout the year.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Birthday to us!