More than half the people who came to Citizens Advice for help in South Warwickshire are having problems with claiming benefits, according to their Annual report 2017-18 .
Universal Credit has been introduced to the Stratford District area, but Warwick district has only just had the welform reform measure introduced and more problems are expected.
Universal credit and other benefit issues such as tax credits were responsible for 10,000 problems faced by the local charity in 2017 /18. In total Citizens Advice South Warwickshire handled more than 32,000 issues, with one in four of the clients having debt problems. There was a rise in the number of people coming to Citizens Advice for food bank vouchers because their income was insufficient to support themselves or their families.
Yvonne Hunter, chair of Citizens Advice South Warwickshire told the annual general meeting: “Many of our clients are struggling with increasingly complex issues and often we are the only source of help when they need someone to speak up for them”.
“We are incredibly grateful to our funders who, in difficult economic times, have continued to support us. As a lean and local charity, it is our volunteers and our funders who enable our service to be delivered. Those funds act as a good investment when you look at how we are able to get people back on their feet and ensure they are getting all the support they need.”
High Sheriff Clare Sawdon presented long service awards to volunteers and staff. Warwick District Councillor Neale Murphy, a former fireman, said Citizens Advice had saved more lives than he had during his career.