We have been happy to work in partnership with Citizens Advice Bucks over the last three years and to provide them with funding and support. The last tranche of funding has just been released and you can read what a difference this has made to the Charity.
Thalia Jervis, CEO, CA Bucks:
Working with The Clare Foundation has absolutely improved the way we are able to respond to the pandemic and following the economic shocks arising from the cost of living and energy crisis.
As a result of the partnership with The Clare Foundation over the past three years, Citizens Advice Bucks has been able to develop an integrated response to the crisis, which has included increasing the capacity of the debt team and its money advice expertise, as well as improving our telephone Adviceline, and using the springboard of The Clare Foundation’s funding to secure further investment from the National Lottery Fund of £284,000.
Being able to show national funders that we have had support from our wonderful local funders has had a demonstrable impact on our fundraising. The National Lottery would not have made this investment without the co-investment of local funders, and thus this is a perfect example of how local and national funders can work together to make services sustainable helping the poorest through the pandemic. The work of The Clare Foundation has played a pivotal role in helping us grow our influence in the County, as we have moved from being three separate charities and local citizen’s advice services to one county wide advice charity. The Clare Foundation’s CEO, Martin Gallagher, has involved us in key conversations happening across the county, as well as introduced us to the influential amongst the county strengthening our presence as a county wide charity in policy work and disaster response planning and provided us with individual support and access to training.
The most recent grant to our money advice service plays a distinct role in bridging us towards sustainable funding with the downsizing of a national contract. Being able to provide money advice to our communities is fundamental to what we are and how we help, as we help the poorest in the county to mitigate the impact of a good few years of reduced incomes. People have lost their jobs during the pandemic, their homes, and even their health. They need a lot of support to get back up and running. We need to be there for them in their hour of need. Now cannot be the time that we stop this support, nor for the next few years, as it is going to take a long time to bounce back.
Our communities are reeling through the cost-of-living crisis. People are facing choices between heating and eating. No-one should need to choose between starving or staving off hypothermia. For the first time, we are facing year round challenges with energy costs too. People are choosing what they eat based on what time it takes to cook. They are cutting corners at every turn and yet still do not have enough to live off or put clothes on their children’s backs. We all have an imperative to act to support those most vulnerable, and this grant from Clare Foundation will help us do just that. For us, what is remarkable about The Clare Foundation is their ability to respond nimbly to the crisis. They listen to our concerns, take our trend analysis and data seriously, and direct grants to those most in need. We would love to see funders working more like this. The grant from The Clare Foundation will help us bolster critical high level case work support to those most vulnerable. We can’t wait to get out there and help more people with it. Thank you very much to everyone at The Clare Foundation, we are truly grateful for this important local relationship that really helps us to go from strength to strength.
Chris Williams, Chair of Charity Services, The Clare Foundation:
At times of great personal difficulty many people will look for someone to help – with advice, practical help debt advice or even financial support. Citizens Advice Bucks is often the first “port of call” for many people. The range of assistance that they can provide is truly impressive. Our visit their offices enabled us to meet Thalia (CEO) and some of her colleagues and to get a better understanding of the challenges that they face and was very helpful. The pressures on vulnerable people are only going to increase over the next few years and consequently there will be even greater demands placed on Citizens Advice Bucks. They already do a tremendous job and The Clare Foundation is only too happy to support them.
Robin Walker, Vice Chair, The Clare Foundation:
We are delighted to be continuing our support Citizens Advice Bucks. The multiple pressures of rising interest rate, general inflation, massive energy cost rises and other pressures on vulnerable families drive the need for greater support from CAB and it is pleasing to see the difference they can make with our support”
It was evidenced from our recent visit how well Thalia (CEO) and her team do with relatively constrained resources, and for a need that is only going to get greater, so The Clare Foundation is only too happy to be funding additional front-line resources that I know will go a long way to supporting the most vulnerable families in our county.
Find out more about Citizens Advice Buckinghamshire here: https://citizensadvicebucks.org.uk/