Citizens Advice South Somerset is an independent advice charity providing free, confidential and impartial information, support and advice for anyone who needs it.
Our vision and mission are as follows:
Delivering excellence in prevention and advice services – helping clients prepare for, and manage through, key life events and change – improving clients’ independence, prosperity and wellbeing.
We will provide high quality, seamless and responsive services that meet our clients’ needs enabling them to act early to avoid problems escalating and providing advice to achieve resolution of their problems. A summary of our 2017-2020 Business Plan is available here: SummaryBusinessPlanCitizens Advice South Somerset
We are a volunteer involving organisation governed by a Board of Trustees. There is a mixed team of paid staff and volunteers with over 45 people volunteering weekly.
We provide regular training programmes that enable people from the local community to develop their knowledge and skills and join our team delivering information and advice to their local community.
Our services benefit the whole community and our goal is to reduce poverty, disadvantage and discrimination by helping people to resolve their problems and improve their life chances. We evaluate our services and measure the outcomes (benefits) to clients. You can read an evaluation report here: Money Minded Evaluation Citizens Advice South Somerset
You can view our service summary Annual Report Summary2016/17
We provide information, and advice on any issue a client presents including;
- relationship matters
- consumer matters and other issues
For clients with multiple or complex problems we offer intensive casework support.
Our services are delivered with flexibility to make them available to everyone.
The general advice service we provide offers open access to information, advice and casework by phone, email or through face to face services at one of our drop-in sessions.
We provide drop-in sessions Monday – Friday at a variety of locations in the South Somerset Area. We also offer telephone and email advice services to reach out to those clients unable to travel to our centres.
In addition to the general service we develop and deliver specialist projects and programmes including:
- Welfare Benefits Advice and Casework for people affected by cancer
- Debt advice and casework for people in financial difficulties
- Financial capability and personal budgeting support
- Community learning programmes such as financial education
- Energy and household related information and advice to assist householders to maintain a warm and affordable home environment and manage their bills
- Local Assistance administering crisis grants and food parcels for people facing serious emergencies and crisis
- Partnerships and collaborative projects that benefit the community
- Training and support to local community groups enabling them to provide information assistance within their community of interest
- Research and campaigning to raise awareness and influence change in respect of policies that have a detrimental impact on people’s lives
- Volunteering opportunities in advice giving, campaigning and administration.
Working in close collaboration with the other Somerset advice agencies allows us to research and identify advice or development needs for the communities of Somerset. We work together to promote access to information and advice and to research and campaign on matters in order to improve services for local people.
We participate in joint strategic and developmental programmes including the formation and implementation of the Somerset Advice Network and Somerset Advice Strategy 2015-2018.
And we’re grateful to our partners and funders for their continued support.