Sharon Hodgson has thanked staff and volunteers at Citizens' Advice Sunderland for providing constituents with the advice and support they need to solve their problems.
At an event in parliament on Tuesday 16 June 2015, Sharon met people from across the Citizens' Advice service. She also learned about the invaluable insight local Citizens' Advice have about problems experienced by constituents.
Citizens' Advice Sunderland provides free confidential and impartial advice to people in Washington and Sunderland West face to face and over the telephone. There is also a national website providing advice online, over e-mail and via a web chat from www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Common issues reported to the local Citizens' Advice include queries about benefits, debt problems, employment and housing.
Nationally the Citizens' Advice Service helps 2.5 million people a year with 6.2 million issues. In Washington and Sunderland West in 2014/15 Citizens' Advice helped 1,783 people with 7,784 problems.
Evidence from the charity shows Citizens' Advice helps to solve two in three people’s problems. Where problems can’t be fully resolved Citizens Advice will work with relevant local and national organisations to help sort out systemic issues.
Commenting after the event, Sharon said:
“Our local Citizens' Advice service does a great job in helping people solve their problems, and developing the skills and confidence people need to help themselves. During my time as a Member of Parliament, I have been happy to work closely with Citizens' Advice to make sure people get access to the help they need and tackle any local issues together."
“Volunteers are the bedrock of the Citizens' Advice Service. I’d like to thank the people in our area who give up their own time to help others and recognise their contribution to our local community.”
Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:
“The right advice and support can transform lives. Local Citizens' Advice solve the problems for two in three of our clients, and empower people to develop the skills and confidence they need to help themselves."
“It’s really important that people are able to access free and impartial advice as and when they need it, whether face to face, over the phone or online. We’re pleased to work with MPs to help them solve their constituents’ problems and address local and national issues.”