David Andy (CAB) was welcomed to the meeting to provide an update regarding the Community Outreach Project. The service is jointly delivered by Citizens Advice (CAB) and DIAL, providing generalist and specialist benefit outreach advice to people in the North Area Council wards from several locations. Two case studies were also presented, illustrating how clients had been helped to sort out benefits and debts which had been detrimentally affecting their health and wellbeing.
Key points from the presentation included:
· Since 1st October 2018 the project has made a total of 759 client contacts.
· To date, the project has helped clients to claim £1,241,208 of additional welfare benefits and has helped clients manage £43,588 of debt.
· The top 5 enquiries relate to Benefits and Tax Credits, Universal Credit, debt, relationship and family and housing.
· 73% of clients report a long term health condition or a disability. 38% of CAB clients own their own property, 48% live in rented,13% prefer not to say and 1% are homeless. 19% are employed, 35% are on sickness benefit and 23% are unemployed.
· Every £1 spent on delivering the project generates £42 of benefits for clients, which is an excellent rate of return.
· Since Sept 2015, 4736 clients have been contacted, obtaining in excess of £7.3m of benefits and helping clients manage just short of £1m of debt.
(i) David Andy be thanked for his attendance and contribution, and
(ii) Members note the update.