A national charity with a branch in Sleaford is calling for people to help make society fairer by joining its cause as a campaigner.
Citizens Advice is best known for helping people solve their problems. What is perhaps less well known is that when the charity cannot find a solution, it uses its experience from the frontline to – in its words – “research the systemic problems and barriers that hold people back”.
Stuart Hellon, chief executive officer of Citizens Advice Mid Lincolnshire, said: “At Citizens Advice we see thousands of local people every year and millions across the UK, giving us a closer understanding of the problems that people experience than any other organisation.
“We help people solve problems and move forward with their lives. However, some problems are too difficult to solve by advice alone – often where there is a systemic issue with a policy or a set of regulations.
“We know which policies are working and spot emerging problems early.
“In our policy research we combine these insights with analysis of wider social and economic trends, and set out new ideas to improve policy and delivery for all.
“We influence politicians, policy makers, regulators and companies to change rules and regulations for the benefit of everyone.
“From the cap on the cost of payday loans to regulations preventing retaliatory evictions, our reach is far wider than the clients we see.”
Mr Hellon gave the example of Citizens Advice successfully campaigning for action on payday loans, after seeing a 10-fold increase in clients with such debts in a four-year period.
He added: “By listening closely to the people who come to us, using our real-time data and gathering insight and intelligence from clients and frontline advisers, we spot emerging issues and policies, practices and regulations that are not delivering for society which means we understand the issues affecting people all over the country.”
He called on people to “help make society fairer” by signing up as a Citizens Advice campaigner at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about- us/campaigns/citizens- advice-campaigners/
“Citizens Advice will let you know how you can get involved in current campaigns, or you can join the local team of volunteer policy researchers, campaigners and promoters in Citizen Advice Mid Lincolnshire’s Boston and Sleaford offices,” he said.
For more information, email Karen Warner, training and volunteer development manager, at karen.warner@citizensadvicemidlincs. org.uk.