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22 March 2017: Citizens Advice LeicesterShire awarded £25,000 through the Martin Lewis Fund

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire is celebrating being awarded £25,000 through the Martin Lewis Fund that will help make a real difference to local people’s lives.

The funding award announced today will help to deliver a project that will provide more tailored support to clients who need more support to carry out our advice. This is a new approach that could be rolled out across other parts of the country.

The project will train a new type of volunteer to support clients that struggle to follow our advice because of issues such as lack of confidence, fear, or lack of support. These new Link Worker Volunteers will follow up with clients to check how they are getting on, and provide more support if needed. The aim of the project is to increase clients’ confidence, helping them to become self-sufficient.

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire will be able to share its learning, and potentially encourage other local Citizens Advice to launch similar projects so that more people across England and Wales benefit.

Richard Evans, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice LeicesterShire said:

“We are delighted to receive this award through the Martin Lewis Fund. This grant gives us the opportunity to run a project we have already tested with clients and found that providing the dedicated support of a Link Worker Volunteer helps to reduce stress and anxiety for clients in Leicestershire who are struggling to cope with multiple issues.”

Martin Lewis said:

“Few realise Citizens Advice, which is at the bedrock of British society, is a charity not a government agency – a shame as the work it does is truly life saving. I’ve met many people who were suicidal over legal or money life challenges they couldn’t cope with, yet a visit to their local Citizens Advice put them on the path to dealing with it.  As a huge fan of the organisation, I wanted to do something to help it pioneer new ways to reach out and improve people’s lives, and I’m excited to see where this takes us.”

Citizens Advice LeicesterShire is one of 25 local services across England and Wales to receive £25,000. The funding follows an initial award of £1,000 in September 2016 to test initial project ideas.

The funding comes from a £1 million donation from Martin Lewis to Citizens Advice across the UK in 2015.

Projects had to fit into categories including making people more digitally skilled, working closely with health and social care providers, and future opportunities for volunteers.