Who we are
We are a local independent charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee and we are a member of the national Citizens Advice service. We were established in 1964 and support people living in the borough of Barnsley. We aim to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and we seek to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives by influencing social policy both locally and nationally. We provide advice and information on a wide range of issues from our town centre premises and also at a range of other locations throughout the borough.
Our service is free, confidential, independent and impartial. We will listen to your problem, explain all the options available to you and, where appropriate, support you with the course of action you decide to take. We will not judge you or tell you what you should do. We value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination in all that we do. We respond to an individual’s needs without regard to their age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, race or religion.
Service statistics and impact
In 2014 – 15 we helped 6,581 people with 28,463 problems in a range of categories of law. We support people who come to us with a variety of different problems and issues, for example those relating to debt; benefits; employment; housing; consumer, etc. Problems with debt account for around 52% of our total workload. In 2014 – 15 we handled 12,160 new debt enquiries and in so doing helped clients manage more than £14.7 million of problem debt. We also helped avert homelessness in 476 cases and helped people secure £682,431 in additional welfare benefits to which they were entitled.
Our staff and volunteers
We have 23 full time equivalent paid staff and 37 volunteers who carry out a wide range of roles. The value of the work done by our volunteers each year is estimated as worth more than £200,000. More than 50% of volunteers who leave us each year do so to move into paid employment or full time study. Our trustee board has 7 members who bring with them different areas of expertise, and play a strategic role in organisational oversight and development. The trustee board is supported in its role by our management team, led by the Chief Executive.
In 2014 – 15 we received core funding from Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council which was supplemented by project; contract; and grant funding from a number of other sources. For every £1 we receive from Barnsley Council we generate another £3 from other sources which helps contribute to local economic regeneration.
Our work with others
We play a major role in Barnsley’s local strategic partnership work including contributing to the work of the Barnsley Anti Poverty Board and the Barnsley Advice Network. In addition we are also active members of the Advice Barnsley Partnership that includes DIAL Barnsley and Age UK Barnsley. As part of these arrangements we work with a range of partners such as Barnsley Council; Berneslai Homes; South Yorkshire Credit Union; local NHS agencies; Job Centre Plus, amongst others.