Summer Premises Appeal 2023

Our current premises in Yate has become too small

*Update: This appeal has closed – you helped us reach our target!*

Will you help us  double the number of people we help?

Every 2 minutes, people are turning to Citizens Advice for help as we face the cost-of-living crisis together.

In 2022, we helped record numbers of people in crisis with foodbank referrals and emergency support. Three-quarters of people who turned to us for crisis support in 2022 did so for the first time, and already, 2023 is proving to be even worse. We hear about spiralling costs, shortfalls in income and families simply unable to afford even the essentials. Every day we’re talking to people who literally don’t know where else to turn.

We’re working hard at Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire to cope with this increasing demand. Since April, we have added an extra session in Yate for out-of-office hours, we run new advice sessions in Emersons Green and now have a new funded project worker coordinating with the NHS primary care trust to enable people with health barriers to access the support they need.

Our Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire received an “Excellent” advice rating last year and has worked in the county for nearly 50 years. Despite offering free telephone advice and regular face-to-face drop in sessions across six venues in South Gloucestershire, there are many more people we are still not reaching.

We launched a summer fundraising appeal in 2023, but still are looking to raise funds to move into our new home in 2024.

We don’t currently have enough advice rooms to cope with the demand and so at our regular drop-in sessions in Yate, people are having to squeeze into our small waiting room, with people sitting on the floor and queuing for our help outside just to see someone to get the help they desperately need. Our current premises are not accessibility friendly, with no public toilets on site and people needing to leave mobility scooters and pushchairs outside. In recruiting additional volunteers and staff to cope with these numbers, we have quickly outgrown our premises and we don’t have enough desk space to enable our volunteer advisors to have the room they need.

Will you help us double the amount of people we see face-to-face?

Our Solution

Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire's new premises in Yate

We have just secured a bigger premises in Yate which will allow us to see many more clients at any one time.  Our current offices only provide 4 advice rooms where clients can come to us to be heard confidentially, whatever their problem. Our new home would allow us to create 8 advice rooms which would help 80 people every week in Yate alone. At the moment we help over 4,000 people a year. With your donation, we hope to help 8,000 people every year.

We need your help to make our new home a welcoming space to everyone who comes, whatever their circumstance. With your funds, we hope to start renovating to make the building fit for purpose –with a new reception area, a larger waiting room for more clients, more advice rooms and larger office space for increasing numbers of volunteer advisors and staff to complete their work safely and confidentially.

We want our building to be a warm and welcoming space for local people – providing new sofas and chairs in the new waiting room, with a book and toy corner, space for pushchairs, wheelchairs and mobility scooters. We also want to make sure everyone gets the help they need to be a beacon to everyone who needs us, whatever stage of life. As our new premises will be close to Yate train station we want accessible signage to let people know we’re there for them, visible by road and train.

Our Funding

Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire is an independent, local charity which means we don’t automatically get national Citizens Advice or government funding. We are reliant on generous donations and grants to sustain our local services. We already run face-to-face sessions almost every day across the county – partially funded by generous local authority and grant-making trusts to provide face-to-face support in Yate, Bradley Stoke, Stoke Gifford, Cadbury Heath, Thornbury and Emersons Green.

However, as funding cuts increase and the demand for our services exponentially increases, we need to diversify our income to individuals who are invested in our neighbourhoods, so we can only do it with your help.