Citizens Advice North Herts May 2020 Newsletter


CANH client numbers increased by 30% for the year 2019/20, up from 5,044 to 6,587

Ongoing welfare reform, cuts to support services and the squeeze on the cost of living have all had a significant effect on the demand for our advice.

We generated £1.4 million in financial outcomes for our clients in 2019/20.
In 2019/20 we took on 14 new volunteers. We ended the year with 77 volunteers, including our trustees. Volunteers donated 610 hours weekly in 2019/20. Their economic value was estimated at £590,000.

Each volunteer gives 4-15 hours per week and undergoes extensive training. Advisors and support volunteers require ongoing training to keep up with new legislation and initiatives. This builds self-confidence, customer service and office skills and improves health and well-being.

In 2019/20, two of our volunteers were able to use the experience gained with us to progress into paid employment.

Interest in volunteering with us remains very high. We run information days 2-3 times a year to recruit new volunteers. Potential volunteers can explore opportunities and apply online via our website

Our Lockdown Stories

Lockdown has been a real learning curve; usually much of the work we do involves face-to-face contact and lots of paperwork. We have some innovative office set-ups and have welcomed pet colleagues! We are juggling technology, child care and home schooling alongside the normal caseload.

From top left to bottom image: Joey the dog assisting our Help to Claim coordinator - with Sacha; Volunteer Simon sets up his lockdown office in his greenhouse

CANH COVID-19 Response

Like many other organisations, in mid March CANH had to close its physical offices due to COVID-19. We had to urgently reconfigure our service at a time of growing need. We now have 50 staff and volunteers working from home and offering advice via telephone, email and web chat. We’ve set up a dedicated local telephone number, 01462 689801 alongside the existing Herts AdviceLine 03444 111 444.

Since lockdown we have ‘virtually’ recruited 5 new volunteers who are now undergoing remote training. We hope to get to know them in person very soon!

We now engage with clients and each other in a different way to before. We miss our face-to-face contact, but we are proud that we have delivered service continuity during a period of growing demand with our virtual team. Since lockdown we have already helped local residents with over 800 issues.

Here to help when you need us most

There is currently a pause on possession action for private renters, this doesn't mean that a landlord can't serve notice, just that the period is currently longer. Private renters face a 'cliff edge' in a few weeks time when many will face eviction, and while we're calling for the government to take action to ensure they're supported, it's also vital for people struggling to keep up with rent payments to seek help now. If you know anyone who is falling behind on their bills, please encourage them to get in touch sooner rather than later.

Since lockdown we have launched our latest fundraising appeal. If you’re in a position to make a donation or run your own fundraising event for us we have all the information available on our website. We are extremely grateful to all our supporters and funders. We couldn’t do what we do without you.

To keep up to date with our news please visit northhertscab.org.uk or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Please email communications@nhdcab.org.uk to be added or removed from our circulation list.

Created By
Catherine Bennett