About Us

OUR AIMS ARE -

  • to provide the advice people need for the problems they face
  • to improve the policies and practices that affect people's lives

In 2019/20 the total number of clients seen by us was 5059
The number of issues dealt with 14,589 and debt outcomes totaled £689,078.
Total financial gains equaled £1,123,477.
And finally, last but not least, the total value of volunteer time was £284,893.

We are a local, independent charity and a member of the National Association of Citizens Advice https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us and rely on grants and donations. We provide free, independent, good quality advice to anyone living and working in Charnwood to give them the confidence they need to find their way forward.

The advice we offer covers a wide-range of issues although over 60% of our work actually relates to debt and welfare benefits.

We play an essential part in helping anyone living or working in the borough of Charnwood by providing information, directing them to the best source of help for their issues and giving advice through trained generalist advisers and specialists. The service we provide is free, independent, confidential and impartial.

Citizens Advice Charnwood is a registered charity and company and was established in the 1940s – the first Citizens Advice bureau in Leicestershire. As well as 9 trustees/directors on our Trustee Board, we have 8 paid staff and over 40 volunteers who work at our offices in Loughborough, Shepshed and Syston.

There are 382 Citizens Advice offices across the country making up the Citizens Advice service. The membership organisation, Citizens Advice is based in London and sets the quality standards for all Citizens Advice offices. It also provides up-to-date information sources for our use and raises, at a national level, the issues affecting people's lives with those who are causing them, thereby helping all Citizens Advice offices to exercise responsible influence on policy makers. See Research&Campaigns for more information.

Our advisers and specialist advisers work with people to sort out debt worries and claim all the benefits they are entitled to. We can help with housing and employment problems or deal with queries about consumer or tax issues. We can advise on legal matters, answer questions about immigration and we have experience of dealing with family and personal concerns too. We can also negotiate with companies or service providers such as creditors. We also provide a Money Advice Service for people with financial problems or struggling to make ends meet.

All our work is audited for quality purposes so clients can rest assured the service they receive is of a very high standard.

Citizens Advice Charnwood has a close working relationship with a number of Partnerships, with the aim of working together to help our clients.

Our Statement of purpose and objectives

As a member of the Citizens Advice network, Citizens Advice Charnwood (CACh) shares the aims of the service, namely:

  • To provide the advice people need to find a way forward and address the problems they face
  • To use the experience so gained to improve the policies and practices that affect people's lives

We welcome diversity in our own ranks and are alert to discrimination and inequality as contributors to the issues on which our clients seek our advice. Specifically, we are dedicated to the advice needs of Charnwood residents and our objectives are:

  1. To deliver the best generalist advice service we can at times and in places convenient for Charnwood residents. This currently has three strands –

a) Maintaining, strengthening and, if possible, expanding the face to face advice service in our existing locations

b) Expanding outreach services, particularly for vulnerable clients and those outside Loughborough; and

c) Exploring and developing other ways of delivering advice services and promoting awareness of rights and responsibilities

  1. Procure funds for, and deliver high quality specialist (caseworker) advice services in, subject areas of most need, currently debt (money advice) and welfare benefits.
  2. Strengthen our local research and influencing profile and contribute to national research.

In order to achieve these objectives, we recognise that we need to:

i. Promote volunteering in our community with diverse volunteering opportunities and high qualify training.

ii. Lead and nurture our volunteer force and be a good employer to our staff.

iii. Build relationships within the national CitA network, meet our membership obligations and play our part in shaping the direction of the Service generally.

iv. Build relationships within the Borough with other service providers to provide "joined up" services and reduce duplication.

v. Build awareness in our community of our presence, values and contribution.

vi. Maintain strong systems and financial controls; and

vii. Develop and maintain productive relationships with existing and new funders.

Personal Data is any information that can identify a living individual; it MUST be protected. Personal data includes someone's name, address, phone number, email address etc. Special category data is personal data which is more sensitive and could create more significant risks to a person's fundamental rights and freedoms.

At Citizens Advice we collect and use your personal information to help solve your problems, improve our services and tackle wider issues in society that affect people's lives. We only ask for the information we need.

We always let you decide what you're comfortable telling us, explain why we need it and treat it as confidential.

When we record and use your personal information we:

  • only access it when we have a good reason
  • only share what is necessary and relevant
  • don't sell it to anyone

We need a legal basis for processing your information and so we ask for your consent. However, at times we may need to rely on another legal basis i.e when you have not given consent. These bases are:

  • legal obligation – the law requires the processing of information i.e. a court order
  • vital interest – when someone's welfare or safety requires the processing of information i.e. child protection
  • legitimate interest – to carry out the aims and goals of our charity e.g. giving you the advice you need

We handle and store your personal information in line with the law - including the General Data Protection Regulation 2018. You can check our main Citizens Advice policy at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/citizens-advice-privacy-policy/your-information/ for how we handle most of your personal information.

What Citizens Advice Charnwood asks for and why
We ask you for personal & special category data so that we can help you with your enquiry. We may be unable to help you with your enquiry if you withhold information or do not give consent for us to process your data. We also collect anonymous statistics to evidence the service we provide to the people of Charnwood.

How Citizens Advice Charnwood collects your data
We ask you to complete and sign the consent overleaf giving your permission for us to record and use your information. We also collect your data as part of our advice interview in order to help us help you.

How Citizens Advice Charnwood stores & looks after your information
Your information is stored on a national database 'Casebook' for which members of the Citizens Advice Service are data controllers in common. Any paper files, correspondence and consent form are kept securely on our premises. Some of your information might also be kept within our secure IT systems. Your information will be held for 6 years or 16 years for complex issues.

Working on your behalf or sharing information with others
If we need to act on your behalf or share information with a third party we will ask for your authority first.

Your rights
Under the General Data Protection Regulations you have the right to:

  • access your personal data that we hold
  • request the correction of inaccurate or misleading information we may hold about you
  • request the erasure of information we hold about you
  • request that the processing of your data be restricted or stopped
  • object where we have processed your data under the legal basis of legitimate interest
  • withdraw consent at any time
  • complain to the ICO or other regulatory authority

If you have any questions about your rights or how your information is collected or used, you can contact our office:-
Woodgate Chambers, 70 Woodgate, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 2TZ. Tel: 01509 221207 or 01509 221201 Fax: 01509 221203 email: admin@charnwoodcab.co.uk or ptobin@charnwoodcab.co.uk*

Each local Citizens Advice is an independent charity, and a member of the national Citizens Advice charity. The Citizens Advice membership agreement also requires that the use of your information complies with data protection law.

You can find out more about your data rights on the Information Commissioner's website – www.ico.org.uk
If you would like a copy of this notice please ask at Reception

* Citizens Advice Charnwood makes every effort to ensure the security and integrity of emails on our systems. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information after we've received it, Citizens Advice cannot ensure or guarantee the security of information when it is being transmitted.

WEBSITE DISCLAIMER

Citizens Advice Charnwood has tried to ensure that the information on this website is accurate. However, Citizens Advice Charnwood will not accept liability for any loss, damage or inconvenience arising as a consequence of any use of or the inability to use any information on this website. Citizens Advice Charnwood endeavours to provide a service of the highest quality. However, we cannot guarantee that our service will be uninterrupted or error-free. We are not responsible for claims brought by third parties arising from your use of this website.

Citizens Advice Charnwood assumes no responsibility for the contents of linked websites. The inclusion of any link should not be taken as endorsement of any kind by Citizens Advice Charnwood, of the linked website or any association with its operators. Further, we have no control over the availability of the linked pages.

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