North Tyneside Citizens Advice: The Year in Review
The last year (2019-20) has been a record-breaking one at North Tyneside Citizens Advice. More people have contacted us for help (18,388) than any previous year on record, and we achieved a record £8,638,048 in benefit gains for our clients. We also arranged for £2,371,273 of debt to be written off, and arranged payment plans for a further £1,503,599 of debts.
Universal Credit has continued to be one of our biggest areas of advice since the full service rollout in 2018. This last year we helped 3,202 people with their Universal Credit claims, including through our Help to Claim service.
Disability and sickness benefits are also something that many people have needed help with – we saw 3,367 people about Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and 1,804 people about Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
2019 also saw our 80th Anniversary since the first opening of the North Shields office back in September 1939, when it and other Advice Bureaux were established to help people affected by the outbreak of war.
2019-20 was our busiest ever year:
We helped 18,388 unique clients with 72,348 problems
We achieved £8,638,048 in Benefit gains for our clients
We helped bring £3,874,872 of Debt under control
We celebrated our 80th Anniversary since first opening in 1939
Words from a grateful client:
“I consider this to be an amazing service and I’m very fortunate to have one so close to me. I have recently been made redundant so to be able to obtain free advice from knowledgeable people is brilliant. All the staff I met on my visit were so welcoming, sincere and eager to help. A very big thank you to all concerned. “
Lessons of COVID
Following the COVID-19 outbreak, we have moved to a telephone- and digital-only service in order to protect our clients and staff, but we have still been as busy as ever – 9,246 people contacted us for advice between April and September 2020.
Because of the outbreak, we’ve seen more people coming to see us about Universal Credit, Benefits and Employment compared to the same time last year, as well as a 109% increase in Domestic Abuse cases.