The experience of Citizens Advice Bureaux gives us a unique, fresh insight into the problems faced by people living in the UK.
Citizens Advice collects evidence of CAB clients' problems and uses this to campaign for changes in national and local policies and services. We have a key role in speaking up for clients, raising issues brought into bureaux, contributing to public debate and informing legislation.
Our policy / campaign work covers a huge range of issues including consumer, debt, housing, benefits, immigration, employment, legal matters and health.We work with policymakers, regulators, MPs, Assembly Members and service providers.
Funeral Poverty: A plan for managing the impact of funeral costs
Wiltshire Citizens Advice (WCA) has been concerned for several years over the number of people we see who have experienced problems paying for a funeral. These problems often lead to debt and anxiety at a time when people are vulnerable due to bereavement. Funerals pose significant financial risks for anyone, especially people on a basic or low income.
Funeral costs have been rising by more than inflation, making it all the more difficult to manage money at a time of grief and loss. Dying in the UK now costs over £7,000, on average. With even basic funeral costs now over £3,000, funeral poverty is growing each year (Sun Life, 2012). The full costs may not be realised until it is too late to cut back. In the context of limited financial support available, even for those eligible for state benefits, WCA investigated how good practice might help address the risk factors between a death and a potential debt. This was done by surveying funeral directors in Swindon and Wiltshire and following up the surveys with interviews.
The results were used to develop a 4-point code for good practice to stimulate discussion. WCA hopes that organisations across Wiltshire and Swindon – and elsewhere – will sign up to this and improve the situation.
To read more about our Plan for managing the impact of funeral costs and the 4-point code for good practice - contact us for a copy of the report.
End child poverty - holding the government to account on their promise to halve child poverty in Britain by 2010.
Adding up campaign - resources and guidance for parents and schools.
A right to justice - campaign to draw attention to the shortage of civil and family legal advice.
Social policy impact report - a round up of the year's successes.
More campaign successes - how our clients have benefited.
How we campaign for change