Andrea Dunhill, Chief Executive Citizens Advice Reigate and Banstead, looks forward to building on a year of transformation and development.
Thank you to our Advice team, our funders, work partners and associates for their part in a momentous year in which we achieved so much.
2020 was a year of capacity building, deepening our resources and developing new knowledge as it unfolded. Our team and our resilience have been tested in ways we could not have imagined. We have developed new skills and worked in new ways to ‘step up’ and support those who most needed advice and help. We have grappled with complex issues that demanded deep concentration and research to present the optimum way forward for the problems presented to us.
|Number of clients||5,108||3,987|
|Activities for clients||15,555||10,962|
|Income & other gains for clients||£1,601,047||£1,163,291|
These results are testament to the commitment and dedication shown by our team. The team’s ability to be resilient and resourceful and to provide high quality advice to those in need is commended.
And so to 2021. We now have a Brexit deal and the national rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations. We can hope for better times ahead. Here are our three key priorities:
Our capacity building in 2020 will enable us to respond to anticipated increased demand for advice in 2021. Recovery for some clients may be slow to start and more people may begin to need our help for the first time. We have expertise in Universal Credit and other benefits, an expanded debt advice service and an ‘Outreach’ team to reach those in the community who are unable to access our service by phone or internet. We often help with housing, immigration, relationships, disputes, consumer issues; we will help anyone who needs us.
We will continue to work towards an increased understanding of the needs and the application of the rights of everyone in our community. We will pursue ways that we can help create and promote a more equal opportunities in society.
We will actively look for further ways to firmly establish diversity of views, thoughts, skills, backgrounds, as a route to enriching the depth, abilities, skills, knowledge and experience of our team.
We will continue to work towards enabling inclusion for all by working deeply and resourcefully to maximise access to income entitlements where there is ill-health, disability, poverty or other disadvantage in the community. We will continue to campaign for those who need our support to access opportunities and, fair benefits to meet their needs. We will continue to press for health and social care improvements where needed.
Our approach to all in our team and our community will be transparent and fair.
We will continue to reduce our carbon footprint. Our work will be carried out in a paperless environment. We will continue our transformation project of digital working and filing ‘paperwork’ electronically rather than in filing cabinets. We will minimise our use of all finite resources by continual awareness.
My best wishes to all in our community for 2021.