Your local citizens advice bureau does a lot for its community - much more than might first meet the eye.
It's not just the people that get advice from their local bureau that gain from our work.
Bringing money into the local community
Bureaux bring money into their local community in a number of ways, such as:
- CAB clients gain welfare benefit awards and other money (from court cases and tribunal hearings, from example) that they are entitled to, often backdated. Research conducted in 2005 by the Fraser of Allander Institute into the economic impact of Glasgow's citizens advice bureaux suggests that the majority of this money is then spent on local goods and services
- bureaux are employers, able to secure funding from a range of sources to help create more jobs in the area – income that employees will also spend locally.
Employment and volunteering opportunities
There are thousands of people giving their time bureaux all over Scotland as either paid staff or volunteers.
- Over 85% of people in the Scottish CAB Service are trained volunteers
- When bureau volunteers decide to move on, over 35% go into paid work or further education, able to take the benefit of the knowledge, experience and confidence they have gained through their time in the bureau with them.
Increasing knowledge and skills
Everyone that gets involved with a bureau gains experience and information that helps them in other parts of their lives:
- bureau clients know their rights better and can make their own decisions
- bureau paid staff and volunteers learn a great variety of skills as they go about their work.
Empowering people to resolve their problems
Bureaux help clients to help themselves. As well as helping to resolve the problems clients bring to the service, bureaux help equip people to face the future with greater confidence. Some people will feel more able to resolve their problems by themselves in the future. And others will feel more ready to ask for help sooner - which may well make it easier to deal with their problems.
Influencing social policy to make life better
Scottish bureaux work with Citizens Advice Scotland to make a difference to local and national social policy. This helps everyone, not just CAB clients.