Helping those in Crisis this Winter

This cost-of-living crisis is devastating lives in our local communities – but Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire is here to help.

We are a local, independent charity giving local people the vital advice and practical support they urgently need.

On the frontline of the cost-of-living crisis

The cost-of-living crisis has had a devastating impact on thousands of local people. Increasing prices affect us all, but for those already facing tough times the effects can be catastrophic. Every day at Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire we’re seeing people who need emergency support, families relying on local food banks, and those who simply can’t afford to make ends meet.

For many this Christmas, it won’t be a matter of deciding which gifts to buy their children or stocking up on all the trimmings for Christmas dinner. Instead, they’ll be deciding whether to turn the heating on or do their essential weekly food shop, worrying about how to keep a roof over their family’s head.

Our advisers in South Gloucestershire can give people the help and support they need to find a way through the crisis this winter. But our services are stretched to the limit. Our volunteers and staff are working flat out, answering as many calls and seeing as many people as they can. But we know there are many others struggling to get through to us and many thousands more who need our help.

Mary’s Story

Mary* came to us after splitting up with her partner last year. She had tried to sort out her new Universal Credit claim as a single occupant but ended up losing her housing element.

Having made no progress through contacting Universal Credit directly, she came to Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire for help. After speaking to one of our local advisors, we were able to contact Jobcentre Plus on her behalf and the problem got resolved within a couple of hours. She received the backdated amount of £600 in her bank account the next day.

“I spent last week very tearful, I now feel like a different person. You’ve lifted a huge weight.”

Clive’s Story

Clive* who has a number of serious health conditions couldn’t get the help he needed until he came to Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire. He was helped by our newest “When Advice Really Matters” (WARM) project after being refused his expected Personal Independent Payment.

Our WARM Project Manager was able to clarify their situation which led to Clive being awarded over £500 per month and a back payment of £5,000.

“Before, I felt it was like hanging off a cliff or being in a tumble dryer – it was really confusing. Vicky [the WARM project manager] has been absolutely brilliant.”

*We pride ourselves on ensuring the free advice we give out is free and confidential. The stories above are real, quoted directly from local people who have recently been helped by Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire however we make sure all identities are changed to protect individuals’ real identities. We have so many more brilliant testimonies of how our advice makes a difference to change lives and help people move forward. Feel free to browse our website to see the local venues we provide face-to-face advice from and the significant impact we have across the county.

Will you give the gift of good advice this Christmas?

At Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire we can help guide people through the crisis this winter. Our trained advisers help people manage their debts, make sure they’re receiving the benefits they’re entitled to and provide access to practical support.

The right advice, at the right time, can be a lifeline.

This Christmas, please give the gift of good advice –

would you consider helping us with a regular donation of just £5 a month?

Here’s how your money could help:

A regular gift of £5 a month (£60 every year) would help us reach 1 more person every month through our telephone adviceline

A regular gift of £10 a month (£120 every year) could give regular 2 hour face-to-face appointments with a specialist debt advisor

A regular gift of £15 a month (£180 every year) would support our regular face-to-face advice sessions across the community

A regular monthly would help make our work more sustainable – knowing you are joining with us together to give local people the best chance and move forwards with their lives. Regular giving is really easy to set up online – we are using Charities Aid Foundation to process our Direct Debit payments. Please use the following donate buttons to give a regular, or one-off donation and we will be in touch.

Thank you, and we hope you have a wonderful Christmas!