Demand keeps on growing

Year on year the demand for our services at Citizens Advice Torridge, North, Mid & West Devon (CA TNMWD) increases but the cost-of-living crisis has escalated that exponentially. Not only are people reaching out to us for our help who never thought they would experience financial hardship, but the problems that they bring to us are getting ever more complex.

In the financial year 2022-23 we helped 15,088 clients – an increase of 13% compared to the previous year. We dealt with 34,053 issues – up by 5.5% compared to the year before. In generating £9,605,780 back into the local economy, we were a staggering 18% higher than in 2021-22.

What makes this even more amazing is that our volunteer numbers plummeted during the pandemic so whilst we found more agile ways of working, our volunteer numbers were only around one third of what they were pre-pandemic. We have worked hard to steadily increase those numbers, but we still need many more people to come forward and work with us as we try to meet the ever-growing demand for our services.

We are acutely aware that we are nowhere near to meeting current demand and the only way we can improve that is by recruiting and training many more volunteers. We promote our website as widely as we can  as some people will be able to navigate that to find answers or links to help them solve their problems; just click on ‘Get Advice.’ Our free, local Adviceline service is another way to get in touch with us (0808 27 87 999) but we need more trained volunteers to increase the number of calls we respond to. We also ensure that we provide face to face advice for our most vulnerable clients.

Each month we publish an advice column in local parish magazines. By focussing on a particular issue, we not only demonstrate ways in which they can be addressed, but there are usually a number of useful links that people can use. We have no way of measuring how effective these articles are in helping people resolve their problems, but we have recruited volunteers on the back of them.

Our volunteers have very thorough training and ongoing support. They come from all walks of life and are wide ranging in age. Volunteers do not necessarily have to be trained to give advice, we have a range of roles that people can fulfil, and we would urge anyone with any interest to contact in the first instance.

We have specialist teams trained to work in key areas such as debt advice and we are embarking on a major new energy project to help people to manage their way through the strains imposed on families as fuel prices continue to soar.

We are very proud of what we do and the results we have achieved but we want to do so much more and key to that is getting more people to come and volunteer with us!


Sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates.