people 4 conferenceEach and every working day in Wiltshire we help people resolve their legal, money and other issues.  We do this by providing the advice and information people need for the problems they face and by campaigning to improve the policies and practices that affect people's lives.

We also work in partnership with other local organisations, community groups and Wiltshire Council to ensure the people of Wiltshire get the advice, support and help they need.   

Below we've featured just some of our most recent achievements, new services on offer, campaign successes and the work we've been doing to help the people of Wiltshire successfully deal with life's problems.

Four in five say volunteering boosts health

New survey reveals that six in ten people say volunteering reduces stress

Volunteers' Week - Volunteering with CAB
Volunteering boosts employability, self-esteem and health, according to a new report published today by Citizens Advice to mark Volunteers’ Week.
The new report ‘CAB volunteering – how everyone benefits’ also reveals that 6 in 10 people who give their time to the Citizens Advice service feel less stressed as a result.
The research also found volunteering can be particularly beneficial for people who suffer with mental health problems. Three-quarters of individuals identified with mental health issues said that “volunteering helped them feel more able to manage their condition.”
Four in 4 in 5 people believe volunteering has had a positive effect on their health.
In 2013, 194 volunteers gave up their time for Wiltshire Citizens Advice, helping nearly 18,000 people in Wiltshire to solve over 45,000 problems.
Nationally, more than 22,000 volunteers gave up their time to help people in Citizens Advice Bureaux, resulting in more than £100million of volunteering hours.

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Valuing Volunteers

VolunteerToday we are getting ready for Volunteers' Week, an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK – and it’s taking place from the 1-7 June 2014.
Volunteers are vital to the Citizens Advice service, working in partnership with staff to provide quality advice and support to over 17,000 people every year in Wiltshire. Last year, nearly 200 volunteers donated over £1million worth of hours to our service. 
Next week we will be saying a big thank you to all our volunteers and celebrating the fantastic contribution they make in helping the people of Wiltshire successfully deal with life's problems.

Would you like to make a difference to the lives of local people? 

We will also be out and about in Wiltshire next week promoting volunteering opportunities. So if you're interested in making a difference to the lives of people in your local community why not come along next week, meet the team and find out more. We will be in the:
  • Shires Shopping Centre in Trowbridge
  • Leekes in Melksham, and
  • Emery Gate Shopping Centre in Chippenham.
on Tuesday 3rd, Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th June between 10.30am and 2.30pm.
Current volunteers and staff will be on hand to answer your questions and share with you their experience of volunteering with Wiltshire Citizens Advice.

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Spot Scams! Stop Scams!

stop scams
Scams are schemes to con you out of money.You may get a scam from a phone call, letter, email, text or through a knock at the door that comes out of the blue.
May 2014 is Scams Awareness month. Citizens Advice and the Trading Standards service have teamed up to raise awareness of this menace, help consumers to protect themselves and fight back against the scammers.
Common scams to watch out for:
  • online scams
  • postal cheats
  • phone cons
  • doorstep rip-offs.

Continue reading to find out more, including how to spot scams and our top tips on how to better protect yourself.

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Are you aware of your loved ones wishes?

Making end of life plans remains a taboo for many

Dying Matters Awareness Week
Millions of Britons are failing to make adequate plans for their death and don’t know the wishes of their loved ones, according to a new study released by Dying Matters.
The information, released to coincide with Dying Matters Awareness Week, which runs from 12-18 May, finds that discussing dying and making end of life plans remain a taboo for many people.

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Coping with death

When someone dies there are many decisions and arrangements to make. These can be difficult in a time of grief.

In our online advice you can find out what you need to do after someone has died, including who to inform and how to arrange the funeral. You can also find help with what to do about the person’s financial affairs and their will:
Information on registering a death, arranging a funeral, dealing with property and organisations which can provide further help and counselling.

Information on the role of the executor or administrator in dealing with the estate of a deceased person.

Information about making a will, free will-writing services and how to change, challenge or destroy a will.

Information on who can and cannot inherit if someone dies without making a will. Covers married couples, civil partners, children and other relatives.

Who to contact if someone dies abroad, registering the death and making funeral arrangements including covering the costs, and whether you can claim on travel insurance.


Coping with Death
We've also developed a set of 5 really useful leaflets about various aspects of coping with death, following our work on the issues around Funeral Poverty. They are all available to download below:

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Successful outcomes for our clients and thousands like them - case law in action

One of our Benefit caseworkers in Chippenham took on a case for a couple with two disabled children under 10 who had had their Housing Benefit restricted as they were said to have too many bedrooms. Housing benefit ruled they only needed one room for the children as they were both under 10. The couple argued the children needed separate rooms because of the extent of their disabilities. Our caseworker took the case to appeal but was turned down but then referred the case to CPAG, who took the case to the Court Of Appeal and the case was successful.

Initially the DWP were considering challenging the ruling in the Supreme Court. In March 2013 they announced they were dropping the appeal and have accepted this will now we enshrined in law. It will also impact on all the current debate on the so called ‘Bedroom Tax’.

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Thank you to all our amazing volunteers

Thank you to our amazing volunteers  Volunteers are the backbone of the voluntary sector. Nationally, more than 22,000 volunteers gave up their time to help people in Citizens Advice Bureaux, resulting in more than £100million of volunteering hours.

In 2013, almost 200 volunteers gave up their time for Wiltshire Citizens Advice, helping nearly 18,000 people in Wiltshire to resolve over 45,000 problems.

So we'd like to kick off Volunteers' Week by saying a BIG THANK YOU to our amazing volunteers.

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Make ESA fit for work

If you become sick or disabled and lose your job you want to know that you will be supported. Poorly designed rules make it difficult to determine who is fit for work and who isn’t. Citizens Advice helps more people with Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) than any other issue – so we're calling on the Government to make ESA fit for work.
The Government is now deciding which company will run the tests that determine people's ability to work in the future. Without significant improvements we risk facing another five years of failure. Change is needed now to make sure the tests are fair, consistent and right first time.
fit for work

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Universal credit campaign win

Pop Goes the payslip: Making universal credit work for families

Pop goes the payslip
On 2 April 2014, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson helped Citizens Advice to launch Pop goes the payslip, our comprehensive analysis of the impact of universal credit on families with children and recommendations for ensuring extra work is always more financially rewarding.

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Broken zero-hours contracts are leaving workers in limbo

30 April 2014

Citizens Advice has said there must be clarification to the rules on zero hours contracts to protect employees who are left with no money coming in or open to exploitation at work. The call comes as new figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal that there could be up to 2.7 million people on contracts with no fixed hours of work, with many receiving no work at all.

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Help if you’ve been affected by flooding

flood supportIf you've been affected by flooding then we can help.
We have advice and information on the following help that is available:

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Welfare Reform

The welfare reform act was passed in March 2012.  It is the biggest reform of social security for over 60 years.  
The scale of change is huge.  Every area of the benefit system is set to change as £18 billion is to be cut from the welfare bill by 2014.
Welfare reformWiltshire Money have produced a short video highlighting some of the changes and the impact they will have across Wiltshire.

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