Trustees needed!

Posted by Louise on 17 January 2017

Looking for a new challenge?

Citizens Advice Forest of Dean is looking to recruit more members to our existing friendly Board of Trustees.

What are Trustees?

Trustees are the people in charge of a charity. They plat a vital role, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about the charity's work. They are responsible for setting out the strategic direction of the charity and must be confident that it is well managed and meeting its objectives. It is the Trustee's reponsibility to ensure the organisation is financially secure and complies to all relevant legislation.

How do I apply?

For full details of the role and an application form, please contact Lynn Teague: manager@fod.cabnet.org.uk

We will also be attending FVAF's Trustee Event - pop in and say hello!

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Our local impact

Posted by on 7 November 2016

People in Forest of Dean are over £1 million better off thanks to the work ofCitizens Advice Forest of Dean

Local people in the Forest of Dean have benefited to the tune of over £1 million in the last year from the help provided Citizens Advice Forest of Dean, according to new analysis by the charity.

People have been left in a better financial position after the charity helped them deal with spiralling debts, claim support such as tax credits and other benefits, and resolve costly problems with their energy bills and other consumer issues.

In the last year the charity helped 2,720 people with 18,800 problems, including debt, benefit, housing and employment issues. Over a third of these clients were struggling with disabilities or long term health issues, physical or mental, and the charity's help has enabled them to cope better with life’s challenges. 

Problems can arise suddenly and can happen to anyone – losing a job, becoming ill or a relationship breaking down. One problem can lead to another and become overwhelming; the effect on mental health can be very acute. Problems are often complex and knowing how to deal with them can be challenging. It needs someone skilled and independent to stand back and take an overall look at the situation. This is where Citizens Advice can help.

Citizens Advice Forest of Dean is run by 9 staff and 28 volunteers, who provide free, confidential and independent advice to help people overcome their problems. The charity is a member of the national Citizens Advice network but is run as a local charity with its own board of volunteer trustees.

Lynn Teague, chief executive of Citizens Advice Forest of Dean, said:

“Our staff and volunteers help thousands of people in the Forest of Dean every year to find a way forward.  We can’t put a financial value to all the work we do helping local people, but we have been able to identify and measure some of the benefits of our service.

The help we provide to local residents can also contribute to savings for the public purse. By tackling people’s problems before they get worse we can help to relieve pressure on government-funded health and housing services.

People don’t have to suffer in silence - anyone who is grappling with a problem in their day to day lives should get in touch with us.

As a charity dedicated to helping the people of the Forest we are dependent on local volunteers and funding.  We are always looking for new volunteers and trustees, so if you would like to join a fantastic team, we'd love to hear from you.  Volunteers get full training and all the support they need to help them in the wonderful job they do."

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Scam Awareness Month

Posted by Lou on 6 July 2016

Citizens Advice Forest of Dean is urging people in the Forest to spread the word about scams and expose the tactics of fraudsters to protect others.

It comes as national research by Citizens Advice finds scammers are using a variety of tactics to get people to part with their cash, with people losing an average of £2,500 across all types of scam.

Scam methods include vishing whereby scammers cold-call people in a bid to get their bank details, and offers of fake services, such as telling people their computer has a virus which they can fix remotely.

Investment scams carried the highest price tag, with people investing in fake diamonds or bogus stocks and shares losing of on average £20,000 each.

Citizens Advice is warning people to be on guard and watch out for the different methods used by fraudsters, from doorstep selling of counterfeit goods to demands for upfront payments for services that never materialise.

 Eight common scams reported to Citizens Advice are:

  1. Investment - victims are persuaded to invest money into fake ventures and are then unable to get their money back.

  2. Fake services - people are offered a service for a fee, only to find the service isn’t real or doesn’t exist at all. Examples include, offers to fix computers remotely and fake invoices for advertising.

  3. Fishing - con-artists cold-call people pretending to be a legitimate company, asking for credit or debit card  details - for example on the pretence that they need to refund overpaid bills.

  4. Doorstep selling - victims are offered goods door-to-door or from the back of a van, which are likely to be counterfeit. Fraudsters selling mattresses, “fresh” fish and cleaning products were all reported to Citizens Advice.

  5. Upfront payment or fee - fraudsters ask for a payment in advance for a service or product that never materialises, such as asking for a fee to get a loan, or to pay for a training course to secure a job.

  6. Premium rate texts - victims inadvertently agree to receive premium rate texts about games or competitions, usually costing around £4 each.

  7. Counterfeit goods - people buy goods at marketplaces or online that turn out to be counterfeit or even stolen. Common products include cigarettes, shoes and clothing, and tickets for events.

  8. Goods not received - people place orders for goods which don’t arrive. Scams are often carried out through social media and online auction sites.

If you have been scammed, get advice and report it to Trading Standards through your local Citizens Advice or through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.

 

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Protect our Bus Services!

Posted by on 6 July 2016

Do you use bus services in the Forest of Dean area?

Gloucestershire County Council is currently running a survey on bus routes in the Forest of Dean. The results of the survey will help to inform a scrutiny exercise which will consider figures, profit and efficiency.

In particular, evening and Sunday services will be looked at.
Local public transport campaigners in the Forest are concerned that, in a rural area where buses are a lifeline to many, more cuts to bus services are on the horizon. They are urging anyone who cares about public transport in the Forest to make their views known.

The survey is open until 22nd July. It can be accessed online at gloucestershire.gov.uk/bussurvey

You can also get paper copies from:

Dial-a-ride at Lydney bus station

Reception desk at Coleford should have them but check first 01594 810000

Via Sue Dubois on 01594 517297

Please note that the survey options are carefully worded, please read carefully before sending.

 

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Free Budgeting Workshops in August - Book Now

Posted by Louise on 21 June 2016

Worried about money? Citizens Advice Forest of Dean is holding a series of free budgeting worksops during August at the Main Place in Coleford. Please see poster below for dates. Workshops are also planned for Newent, Lydney and Cinderford with dates and venues to be confirmed. For further information, please contact Wes Hayfield on 01594 823936 ext. 216.

budgeting workshop poster

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Welcome Ehlana!

Posted by on 21 June 2016

Citizen's Advice Forest of Dean is very pleased to welcome Ehlana Head to her new paid role as Training Supervisor. Ehlana has previously been a volunteer adviser for the bureau for a year while studying Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton.

 Ehlana's responsibilities include the recruitment, training and supervising of volunteer staff.

 Ehlana

Ehlana Head

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Forest of Dean Citizen Advice Bureau warn of potential scam

Posted by on 17 September 2015

PEOPLE in the Forest of Dean have been warned to take care of cold callers claiming to be from the Forest of Dean Citizen's Advice Bureau.

Read more: http://www.gloucestercitizen.co.uk/Forest-Dean-Citizen-Advice-Bureau-warn-potential/story-27817682-detail/story.html#ixzz3mO0cLv6s

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