We provide independent, free, confidential and impartial advice to everybody regardless of race, gender, sexuality or disability.
We provide a vital service in East Herts on a broad range of issues including benefits, debt, housing, consumer, family and relationships, immigration and health, with ongoing casework where needed. Advice is delivered via phone, email, webchat and in-person. In 2022 we helped 4,339 clients with 11,337 issues, achieving direct financial gains for clients of almost £1.2 million.
We provide a service to clients Monday to Friday 10am-5pm, helping on average 170 clients a week.
Our service is available to everyone over the age of 16. People we help are mostly those in our priority area high need groups with low incomes and debt, disabilities, homelessness or threatened homelessness, and refugees and asylum seekers. Over a quarter of our East Herts clients come from the five most deprived East Herts wards. The core of our work is focussed on ensuring that people, particularly the most vulnerable, have the advice, support, and information needed to address their issues. We aim to ensure that clients are able to claim their rights or entitlements and move forward with improved resilience. The cost of living rise is affecting everyone but certain demographics are more acutely affected including disabled people, people of colour, single people, women, and those in private rental accommodation. CAEH sees a much higher proportion of clients with disabilities and long-term health conditions (41%) compared to the general East Herts population (13%) and ethnic groups (19%) compared to 4.5%.
Citizens Advice research shows that over 3 in 5 of the people we help cannot solve their issue because they lack confidence. Around 1 in 6 of clients are not confident using the internet and around 1 in 12 need referring for longer term casework support which is provided for those needing two or more appointments and can last up to 16 weeks.
Our service is designed to empower clients and restore confidence. Generalist advisers are the first port of call for clients. They conduct a full exploration of the client issues, deal with any emergencies and agree on next steps. They may also look at maximising client income including carrying out a benefit check. Our specialist advisers help those with increasingly complex needs like “David”*. David lives alone and is self-employed. He had energy debts and was being threatened with a warrant of entry to install a prepayment meter. Bailiffs had also called regarding another debt. David had lost income during the pandemic and had then been in hospital, only recently starting work again. David wanted help with his debts and budgeting and to make affordable offers of repayment.
David is dyslexic and needs help to read and understand written information, so we arranged a home visit where our adviser obtained the necessary information to help contact the different creditors and asked for a hold on enforcement actions whilst repayment plans were put in place. David’s mental health improved, he repaid his debts in an affordable way without a prepayment meter and could focus on seeking work.
We provide free, confidential and impartial advice and campaign on big issues affecting people's lives.
Our goal is to help everyone find a way forward, whatever problem they face.
We're an independent charity and part of the Citizens Advice network across England and Wales.