Becoming Citizen’s Advice Sandwell and Walsall’s Above and Beyond Partnership of the Year 2022
In June of this year, the British Gas Energy Trust had the honour of collecting an Above and Beyond Partnership of the Year Award, presented by Citizen’s Advice Sandwell and Walsall.
British Gas Energy Trust CEO Jessica Taplin welcomed the award and said:
“Citizen’s Advice Sandwell and Walsall was originally one of our covid response fund projects, starting with us on a small nine-month grant in the Autumn of 2020.
Their organisation is a deeply important part of their community, and they are making such an impact on the lives of those they support. We are delighted to have received such an accolade from them.”
Citizens Advice Sandwell and Walsall carries out a range of services to support their clients, including their British Gas Energy Trust funded project, Budgeting Buddies.
Within the last few months, those working on the Budgeting Buddies project have committed over 450 case work hours helping their clients, resulting in income gains of more than £100,000 and over £300,000 of debt has been managed.
Their different teams work closely together to ensure they provide in depth and holistic support to their service users, covering a vast range of areas including debt, housing, employment, immigration, consumer and benefits.
Advice is carried out via telephone, webchat and face to face to ensure they can meet the needs of all clients.
Their mobile advice units go out into the community daily for those who may not be able to travel to their offices.
Their walk-in services are open five days per week and are available in Oldbury, Tipton, Cradley, Smethwick and Wednesbury.
About the award, Emma Ayers of Citizen’s Advice Sandwell and Walsall said:
“As a result of Covid-19 and the Cost of Living Crisis, we are seeing an ever-increasing number of clients who are struggling with various debts, especially energy related.
“Our energy projects, including Budgeting Buddies, funded by British Gas Energy Trust, enable us to meet this increased demand and offer support to our community and clients who are either in or facing fuel poverty.
“Both Sandwell and Walsall are recognised areas of deprivation, so our energy projects are in demand and a real asset to the community at this difficult time.
“British Gas Energy Trust was worthy of this award for the support they gave in fuel vouchers, In Kind donations, Get Back on Track payments and energy efficient resources to help our clients meet their everyday essential needs.”
Citizen’s Advice Sandwell and Walsall presents this award yearly, as part of their annual general meeting.
Their 2022 event had over 100 attendees, including local councillors, the Lord Mayor of Sandwell and other partner organisations working across Sandwell and Walsall.
The award is given to partners they feel have gone above and beyond in supporting Citizens Advice to provide much needed resources to their vulnerable clients, especially in light of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis.
The award was created in 2019, and the British Gas Energy Trust is privileged to be the second ever recipient.
To find out more about the support offered by Citizens Advice Sandwell and Walsall, please click here.