We work on the issues that matter to our network’s clients and our member CAB. Our focus is on delivering advocacy drawn from the experience and insights of the Scottish Citizens Advice network, which is rooted in communities across the country.
This approach recognises the unique ability of the Citizens Advice network in Scotland to deliver advocacy based on the lived experiences of people and especially (but not exclusively) those experiencing vulnerability or crisis. We look at the issues that people bring to our network to identify the most pressing issues that require change. We have also worked with our CAB who have helped us to define the areas where we can have the greatest impact.
In a short space of time, COVID 19 has had a huge impact on our service: both in terms of the shift in the types and numbers of people coming to us seeking advice online and in person, and the issues they are bringing. Throughout the year we will continue to build our understanding of the issues being faced by people and adapt our focus to ensure we are delivering impact where it is needed most. We anticipate that the impacts of the pandemic are likely to exacerbate existing inequalities or areas of detriment and we will monitor and respond to these changes throughout the year.
Our 2020-21 Work Plan also responds to longer term changes in the Scottish consumer landscape brought about by the passage of the Consumer Scotland Act. The focus of CAS’s advocacy activities is being developed to provide a grassroots, community focussed approach, to complement to the strategic oversight role of the new body, Consumer Scotland. CAS will also be using its experience of delivering consumer advocacy to support the successful implementation of the new body, thereby delivering maximum benefit for consumers.
This work is supported through grant funding provided by UK and Scottish Governments.