‘I’M A HUGE FAN OF YOUR WORK’ MARTIN LEWIS TELLS BARNET CAB
Britain’s favourite money saving expert has heaped praise on the volunteers and staff at Barnet Citizens Advice Bureau for the work they do to help people with financial problems.
Martin Lewis, the award-winning campaigning TV and radio presenter, and, according to Google, the most searched-for British man, has spoken in glowing terms about their hard work and dedication to support their clients.
In a video message broadcast at the organisation’s AGM this week he told them: “I have heard of your work and I am a huge fan. It is often very easy to undervalue the impact of what you do. I am under no illusion that I would find it hard to cope. Every day you improve lives. There will be many people who through financial worries might have been pushed to the brink but are alive because of your help and support.”
The Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Melvin Cohen, attended the meeting, held at the Greek Cypriot Centre, in North Finchley, and also congratulated the Barnet CAB team on their contribution towards helping the people of the Borough. He said: “You have dealt with over 41,000 enquiries in the past 12 months which clearly demonstrates the need for the service. As Barnet’s first citizen can I thank you for the tremendous work you are doing. Without you life in the Borough would be all the poorer.”
Barnet CAB Chief Executive, Tim Clark, presented the annual report and accounts, and explained: “At a time when many others have faced cuts to their funding we have had a record year with cash successes of over £5.5 million being achieved for clients over the last 12 months. Research shows that a good proportion of cash successes achieved in these circumstances are spent locally, thus benefiting local businesses as well as local people. Furthermore 85 per cent of clients surveyed said that we had made a positive difference to their situation; 96 per cent said they were with happy or very happy with the service they had received, and 95 per cent said they would recommend using BarnetCAB to others. I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to all our volunteers, our trustees and our paid staff – who, with their skill and expertise, their capacity to respond positively to change, and their loyalty to the service, together make BarnetCAB what it is today.”
Notes To Editors
For more information please contact Susan Osborne, The Goodwork Organisation on 07836 229208. Photos available on request.
Barnet Citizens Advice Bureau provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on rights and responsibilities. The service is available equally to everybody who seeks its help, regardless of race, gender, sexuality or disability. The Bureau is affiliated to Citizens Advice, which is the national association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, and the organisation is wholly independent. The service is provided by unpaid volunteers, who are supported by a team of paid supervisors, manager and specialists.
LONDON CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAUX ‘EXPECT REDUNDANCIES’ BECAUSE OF LEGAL AID CUTS.
Tim Clark of Barnet Citizens Advice Bureau, who surveyed 14 CABx and six law centres in the capital, says most of these organisations intend to use more volunteers.
Civil legal aid cuts mean three-fifths of Citizens Advice bureaux and law centres in London expect to have to make redundancies (Read more …)
NEW CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU OPENS IN HENDON – PRESS COVERAGE 9th Dec 2013.
MAYOR TO OPEN NEW CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU OFFICES IN HENDON AS SERVICE CELEBRATES LONDON SUCCESS
Barnet CAB, which helps more new clients than any other Citizens Advice Bureau in London, today marked the official opening of its new offices in Hendon.
The Mayor, Councillor Melvin Cohen formally opened the building and help celebrate what has been a remarkable year for the team. This includes providing more welfare benefits and debt advice and a planned shift to telephone and email, reserving face- to -face meetings for those in greatest need.
Chief Executive Tim Clark believes that by bringing together staff, volunteers and clients the occasion demonstrated the continued relevance of the CAB, which first opened its doors to help the people of the Borough more than seven decades ago.
He explains: “The challenges we face are as demanding as ever they were, with welfare reform, debt and energy prices the causes of greatest and immediate concern to our clients. Because of this there are immense pressures of quality and quantity on our service. We have to offer excellent and consistent advice to more and more local people at a time when operational budgets are tight, and constantly being squeezed ever tighter.”
One woman who has much to thank the service for is mum Jane Nalika (45) from East Finchley. Jane works part time but due to problems with her benefits and health problems got into arrears with her rent and council tax.
“I was having a really bad time and struggling to cope. Sandra my case worker has been a true friend. She stopped me from being evicted from my housing association property, and also negotiated a manageable repayment schedule for my rent and council tax arrears, which I am able to keep to. I don’t know what would have happened to me without her help and support,” she says.
For more information please contact Susan Osborne, The Goodwork Organisation on 07836 229208
BARNET CITIZENS ADVICE SERVICE / MACMILLAN CANCER SUPPORT UNLOCKS OVER £3 MILLION FOR CANCER PATIENTS
A father from Tottenham said a big thank you on behalf of hundreds of cancer patients and their carers to mark the second anniversary of a special partnership between Barnet Citizens Advice Bureau and Macmillan Cancer Support this week.
The two organisations have unlocked over £3 million in benefits since they joined forces in November 2011.
The service provides free access to welfare advice to help ease financial strains for cancer patients and their families in Barnet, Haringey and Enfield.
Doctors told Mr. William Donkor, who is 62, that he had the disease last year, shortly before he went into hospital for a hip replacement operation. He says: “As you can imagine I was in a bad way. I wasn’t able to help myself and I was worried about what would happen to me. The team was so kind. They sorted out my benefit claims and supported me when I needed it most. I don’t know how I would have coped without them. It makes me cry just thinking about it.”
The father of six joined other patients and carers at Barnet General Hospital to celebrate the second anniversary of the Barnet Citizens Advice Bureau Macmillan Welfare Benefits Project, which offers people impartial and confidential advice, either over the phone or by appointment at hospitals and hospices in the area.
Macmillan Lead Nurse, Mike Pine, who is based at the hospital, says the project has been a significant addition to the team’s programme of patient experience improvement.
“The Welfare Benefits Service provides our patients and cancer teams with expert advice, at both Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals, with visiting CAB benefits advisors. This has enhanced the supportive work of our cancer teams. They have been able to easily signpost patients to the service, which has been positively evaluated by our patients and staff. The benefits advisors have also provided training for our staff to raise awareness of both the personal financial impact of cancer and the range of benefits that patients may access,” he adds.
Barnet CAB Chief Executive Tim Clark says the diagnosis of cancer can be a traumatic time for both patients and their families, so the worry of how to manage financially is an added burden that many people find just too much to cope with.
He explains: “This service has responded to the needs of local residents with hundreds of people contacting us for help and advice. It also continues to place the CAB very much at the forefront of advice provision throughout the borough, and as a powerful advocate for all those who are disadvantaged by an inability to access the advice they need.”
Senior Development Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in London, Nikki Cannon, says: “We know here in London over 500 people every week will hear the news they have cancer, which is why it is so important to have a service like this one. It is our aim that no one should face cancer alone, and it is thanks to services like this, our partnership with Barnet CAB and local support that we are able to be there for people with cancer when they need us most.”
The success comes despite the results of the National Cancer Patient Survey 2012, which, again, revealed that many patients across the country are frequently dissatisfied with access to the welfare benefits advice, which can help to lessen the personal and social impact of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
For more information please contact Susan Osborne, The Goodwork Organisation on 07836 229208 or Ellie Ball, Macmillan Cancer Support on 0207 091 2368 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Barnet Citizens Advice Bureau provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on rights and responsibilities. The three bureaux that make up Barnet CAB operate as centres to provide a confidential and impartial service of advice, information and assistance to the public. The service is available equally to everybody who seeks its help, regardless of race, gender, sexuality or disability. The Bureau is affiliated to Citizens Advice, which is the national association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, and the organisation is wholly independent. The service is provided by unpaid volunteers, who are supported by a team of paid supervisors, manager and specialists.
About Macmillan Cancer Support. Cancer is the toughest fight most of us will ever face. But you don’t have to go through it alone. The Macmillan team is with you every step of the way. We are nurse and therapists helping you through treatment. The experts on the end of the phone. The advisers telling you which benefits you are entitled to. The volunteers giving you a hand with the everyday things. The campaigners improving cancer care. The fundraisers who make it all possible. We are Macmillan Cancer Support.