It costs nearly a million pounds each year to fund our advice provision operations, yet we do not have any long-term funding sources of that scale. The vast majority of our income comes from fixed-term grants, with no guarantee that the philanthropic organisations and local government bodies behind these grants will be able to renew them as they expire. This means that we are constantly seeking new income, without which we will be unable to continue with our work.
Here are a few examples of our core services:
Our walk-in centre at 66 Devonshire Road was used by 13,566 clients in 2018/19, requiring 17 staff and volunteers every day to greet them, assess their needs and carry out the individual interviews their cases require. Maintenance of the building and its infrastructure costs around £85k per year.
The outreach centres we operate in GP surgeries, the City Council’s contact centre (Mandela House), community centres and the Foodbank are used by over 3000 clients every year, requiring 10 staff to provide this coverage.
While our volunteers kindly provide their services without payment, we also depend on the specialist expertise of the trained, paid staff on complex topics such as the ever-changing benefits system; this level of service cannot be replicated through the efforts of the volunteers.
Although our volunteers greatly reduce the staff costs of the charity, a new volunteer will need 430 hours of training and supervision from the staff as part of their on-boarding process, before they can take on the work of a general adviser. This training needs time and money to be done to a high enough standard.
Behind the scenes,we have 6 specialist paid staff assisting with complex casework involving debt, housing and benefits.
Our specialist staff deliver personal budgeting support at the job centre. Helping people moving on to Universal Credit to learn how to manage their money.