Citizens Advice Bureaux are a lifeline for many in their local community - but it's not just the people that get advice that gain from their work.
Bringing money into the local community
Bureaux bring money into their local community:
- Citizens Advice Bureau clients are awarded benefits and other money they are owed or entitled to, for example as a result of court cases or tribunal hearings. Often, this is backdated. 2005 research by the Fraser of Allander Institute into the economic impact of Glasgow's Citizens Advice Bureaux suggests that the majority of this money is then spent on local goods and services.
- Bureaux are employers, securing funding from a range of sources to help create more jobs in the area – income that employees will also spend locally.
Employment and volunteering opportunities
Thousands of people give their time in bureaux all over Scotland as either paid staff or volunteers.
- More than 71% of people working in Scottish Citizens Advice Bureaux are trained volunteers.
- When bureau volunteers decide to move on, more than 42% go into paid work or further education, building on the knowledge, experience and confidence they've gained.
Increasing knowledge and skills
Everyone that gets involved with a bureau gains experience and information that helps them in other parts of their lives:
- Bureau clients know their rights better and can make their own decisions.
- Bureau staff, whether paid or voluntary, learn new skills through their work.
Empowering people to resolve their problems
Bureaux help clients to help themselves. As well as helping to resolve the problems clients bring to the service, bureaux help equip people to face the future with greater confidence. Some people will feel more able to resolve their problems by themselves in the future. And others will feel more ready to ask for help sooner - which may well make it easier to deal with their problems.
Influencing social policy to make life better
Scottish bureaux work with Citizens Advice Scotland to make a difference to local and national social policy - tackling problems at their root and helping a much wider group of people who would otherwise have been impacted.