The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

Exciting times in Rural Devon as we review the first half of this financial year

In almost all areas we are seeing the numbers of problems people bring to us increase enormously and becoming more complex therefore taking longer to advise on and resolve. The financial outcomes - amount of additional money put into households and thence back into the local economy has increased dramatically. We are therefore painfully aware of the difference we could make if we were able to help even more people.

The increased cost of living continues to bite and household budgets are mercilessly squeezed. Welfare Benefits continues to be the area most people ask about. We attended the North Devon Homes Fayre again this year and followed up on last year’s questionnaire. 68% of respondents commented on energy issues with some speaking of choosing between heating and eating. 74% continued to be concerned at the rising costs and spoke of changes in lifestyle because of it. 20% said they had used a food bank in the last 12 months with frequency varying between “occasional” to “I’ve lost count”. Alarming as this all is it enables us to maintain pressure on influencers, local and national through our Research and Campaigns initiatives.

To this end, we have added a specialist role to our volunteer recruitment drive and are looking for volunteers who may not wish to advise, but who could happily take the role of form filling which is time consuming but critical. Many clients are intimidated by some of the forms that need to be completed and if a specially trained volunteer can help them with this, it frees up time for the advisers to work with the clients to resolve their problem.

We are also looking for people who would be interested in becoming a volunteer trustee, joining our trustee board as two of our trustees have stepped down at the end of their term. Our trustees are active at CA TNMWD; in addition to attending quarterly board meetings, an annual Away Day and two Strategy Days a year, they join the whole of organisation meetings and have been keen to join in local office meetings which are now being held in person. Ideally, health and safety, HR or PR experience would be particularly useful for us. Anyone interested in joining us should email recruitment@ruraldevoncab.org.uk initially.

Our website has a lot of useful information as well as a link to our dedicated email advice service recently introduced. Visit https://www.ruraldevoncab.org.uk You will also find details of opening hours of our local offices with times available for drop-ins and face to face advice availability. Our local AdviceLine number is free to use – 0808 27 87 999.

CA TNMWD is here to give free, impartial, confidential and informed advice to anyone who needs it; we also have partnership agreements with organisations sharing our values enabling us to provide information and advice in specialised areas like debt.

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