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Projects

Hertfordshire Adviceline

The ten local Citizens Advice services across Hertfordshire work together to provide a joint telephone Adviceline. This vital service to our clients means that they are able to access us via other channels that suit their needs.

Should a client require more advice and information, a call back will be scheduled with their local office. Our advisers are dedicated to supporting clients with a variety of issues such as debt, housing, employment and many more.

Thanks to funding from Hertfordshire County Council, the Adviceline service which is available free to all residents in Hertfordshire on 0800 144 88 48, is now open for extended hours in the evenings and on Saturdays –  between 10 am to 9 pm Monday to Wednesday, from 10 am to 8 pm Thursday and Friday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday.

Drop-in Advice Sessions

Each local Citizens Advice in Herts offers drop-in advice sessions across various locations in the county.

Take a look at your local Citizens Advice website for up-to-date opening hours and locations.

Hertfordshire Citizens Advice British Sign Language Service

The British Sign Language (BSL) Project provides an opportunity for Deaf people to get
advice in BSL from an adviser who is deaf and whose first language is BSL enables effective
communication for clients to help them find a way forward. The service is available for Deaf
people who are living in Hertfordshire. The aim of the project is to achieve the following
outcomes:
• Service users will improve their wellbeing and feelings of self-worth.
• Service users will be able to access appropriate advice and information which suits their
needs.
• Service users will be better off financially.
• Service users build trust in the service and return if they need to.
The last 12 months (2021/22) has shown excellent outcomes for this county project, supporting 225
unique residents to achieve £405,228 in financial gains, an average of £1,800 per
client. This service is invaluable to our residents and many of them would have no way
forward without this project.

Contact for this project:  bsl@whcab.org.uk or text 07756 148591

Employment Project 

Legal Help is no longer available for employment issues. Your local Citizens Advice will continue to offer free of charge advice to all clients through their volunteer advisors.

Citizens Advice Stevenage can also offer a Specialist Employment Service at all stages of the Tribunal process -but there will be a ‘pay as you go’ fee.

Currently we have achieved well over £1,000,000 on behalf of our clients through the specialist employment service.

If you think you may be interested in the Specialist Employment Service please contact Gordon Sankey or Jo Storey we will send you a Client  Referral form: employmentlaw@stevenagecab.co.uk or 07909 224 172

For more information, click here

Pension Wise

Citizens Advice is providing face to face appointments as part of the free and impartial Government Pension Wise service. You can book an appointment with one of our guidance specialists if you are:

  • Over 50 and
  • Have a defined contribution pension. This is a pension based on how much you and possibly your employer paid into your pot – not a final salary pension.

In your appointment, the guidance specialist will:

  • explain your pension options
  • explain tax
  • discuss which options might be suitable for you
  • give you tips on what you can do next

Afterwards you will receive a letter with a summary of what was talked about.

Pension Wise guidance specialists are impartial – they don’t recommend any products or companies and won’t tell you how to invest your money.
To get free, confidential and impartial guidance on your pension options call 0300 138 3944. Alternatively, you can find out more by visiting www.pensionwise.gov.uk.

Welfare Benefit Appeals

The Welfare Benefit Appeals project continues to support clients within Hertfordshire where
unfair and incorrect benefit decisions are made.
We work with clients with adverse benefit decisions, supporting clients to challenge the
decision by requesting a Mandatory Reconsideration and appealing to an independent
tribunal with representation at court to ensure clients’ voices are heard. Citizens Advice
Stevenage office plays as essential role in co-ordinating this service across Citizens Advice
offices in Hertfordshire for those with health conditions and disabilities to get access to the
support they need and help them to access additional income that is vital in improving their
financial situation and wellbeing.

90% of appeals prepared by our caseworker are successful.

Crisis Intervention project

Our Crisis Intervention service has continued to give residents a guiding hand through
some very difficult times in the last 12 months. (2021/22) The project is there to ensure clients in
crisis has a place to turn to, when all hope seems lost. Working closely with partners across
the county, we have successfully supported 4,376 residents across 10 offices, with more
than 9,577 issues. We have also been able to secure £2,099,715 in financial gains,
through benefit applications to debt write offs.
The last year has seen an impact on residents financial and emotional wellbeing, but we
are pleased to report that 96% of our clients saw an improvement in their wellbeing after
speaking with us, contributing to alleviating stress on other services such as the NHS. 96%
of clients also reported being financially better off following our advice and 99% were able
to access advice that suited their needs. We anticipate that the return of face to face
services will enable another available channel of advice in their local area.

Number of people  helped 2021/22

Financial Gains

Number of issues

4,376

£2.1 million

9,577

Improved wellbeing

Able to access advice that suited their needs

Financially better off

96% of clients

99% of clients

96% of clients

Asylum Seeker & Refugee project

New service starting in April 2024 in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council. A free, confidential Citizens Advice service supporting Asylum Seekers & Refugees in Hertfordshire on Housing & Employment Rights – includes Ukrainains moving on from their hosting arrangements.

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