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Advice Services

Hertfordshire Adviceline

The ten local citizens advice services across Hertfordshire work together to provide a joint telephone Adviceline, from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. 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 a debt, housing, employment and many more.

So far in 2019/20 across the county we answered over 29,000 calls.

Drop-in Advice Sessions

Each local office drop-in advice sessions across the county.

Take a look at the local office’s website for up-to-date opening hours and locations.

Hertfordshire Citizens Advice British Sign Language Service

This service has been set up to provide advice in British Sign Language (BSL) and Sign Supported English (SSE) to Deaf people across the whole of Hertfordshire. The dedicated adviser is able to provide a parallel service on issues such as debt, housing, employment and benefits to Deaf people that would currently be provided to hearing people.

The BSL adviser has been seeing clients since 1st July 2014 following recruitment and training.

Welwyn Hatfield Citizens Advice are continuing to raise the profile of the service by providing talks to deaf clubs, youth groups (those with young adults) and liaising with social services and charities.

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

Scam Advice Service for Hertfordshire

Ever since a report from Action Fraud revealed that over a six month period in 2018, 6,272 scams were reported in Hertfordshire costing victims £12.9m, Citizens Advice has been looking for a way to tackle this specific problem. Now, due to a grant awarded by the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Hertfordshire Citizens Advice has the opportunity to make a real difference.

Hertfordshire Citizens Advice has been awarded a £260,000 grant to fund its new Scams Support and Awareness Project, one of the largest single awards given by the PCC. This project will run for 2 years across Hertfordshire and is poised to help at least 2000 residents directly, and countless others indirectly.

The Grant will be used to employ three scam advisors who will run awareness sessions for the public, provide workshops for other professionals and train 600 volunteers and partners across the county to give specialist face to face advice to those who have been victims of scams and to help prevent vulnerable people becoming victims.

The award follows a successful pilot last year in Three Rivers where over 400 people were supported and helped to avoid having money fraudulently taken

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.

Gambling Support Service Project

Gambling has become a significant public addiction problem in Britain since recent changes in legislation.

In Britain, 430,000 people are known to have a gambling problem, with another 2 million at risk of developing one. Reports tell us that one person can directly affect 6-10 additional people gambling, putting the number that could be affected at 2.5-4.3 million.

Citizens Advice has been commissioned by GambleAware (an independent charity tasked to fund research, education and treatment services to help reduce gambling-related harm) to deliver Gambling Support Services across Hertfordshire. Recently launched by the Bishop of St Albans, this new service delivers across the country by raising awareness of gambling-related harm (GRH) through advice sessions and signposting to specialist support. Citizens Advice Stevenage will be providing education and training to organisations with frontline workers to prevent and minimise GRH, particularly with vulnerable groups. They will attend local and national events to raise awareness of GRH and the services that are available to those affected.

Welfare Benefit Appeals

Our Welfare Benefit Appeals project aims to support, advocate and represent clients at benefit tribunals, when their benefits have been turned down. The appeals caseload is intensive, and requires in depth understanding of welfare benefit rules and regulations. Our caseworker prepares detailed appeal submissions on behalf of clients and continues to support at tribunal where possible.

85% of appeals prepared by our caseworker are successful, compared with the national average of 64%.

Crisis Intervention project

Life is complicated.  The Crisis Intervention service supports people when they are most vulnerable.  People come to us with a wide range of interlinked issues and this project allows all local Citizens Advice offices across Hertfordshire to tailor a service to fit the needs of each individual or family.  We support, empower and move people towards a resolution, giving them the information and advice they need to make informed and positive decisions about the future.

Our outcomes April 2016- April 2019 include:

Number of people  helped

Income gained

Debts written off

9775

£6,628,130

£1,813,720

Improved feeling of self-worth

Able to access advice that suited their needs

Financially better off

85% of clients

85% of clients

55% of clients