In our first report of this kind, we demonstrate the impact of the Scottish Citizens Advice service on the 310,000-plus clients who received help in 2015/16, as well as touching on the wider benefits of our work to the rest of society.
While Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) operates at a national level, each of the 61 Citizens Advice Bureaux are governed and managed at a local level, operating as individual charities. This ensures that they have a real grassroots presence in the communities that they serve. Funding for the service comes from a number of sources. Most Citizens Advice Bureaux receive core funding from local authorities to deliver advice services. Bureaux also receive specific project funding to deliver special services such as Kinship Care advice services or Pension Wise guidance. Citizens Advice Scotland receives a core grant from the UK Government and consumer and project funding from the UK and Scottish Governments amongst others. As the recipients of public funding, we arecommitted to measuring, understanding and demonstrating the value of the advice we provide.
These figures are published today by Citizens Advice Scotland in the first ever Impact Report, showing the results of the work done by the service across Scotland.
Scotland’s Citizens Advice service gave 1 million pieces of advice last year, helping over 310,000 individuals – equivalent to over 1 in every 14 adults.
The service also put a total of £120m into the pockets of Scottish citizens, though improving their financial health by helping them to access benefits entitlements and manage debt effectively. This helped some to avoid crisis situations like poverty, debt and homelessness.