Citizens Advice Ipswich Outreach Adviser

Contract: Initially 12 months Fixed Term contract (subject to funding)

Salary: £17,000 (pro-rata)

Hours: 3 full days (7.5 hours) per week. (Part-time)

An exciting opportunity has arisen for two Generalist Advisers to join Citizens Advice Ipswich’s new ‘Connect for Health’ team, which will be providing generalist advice to clients through appointments in General Practitioners surgeries throughout the Ipswich area. The roles will be based in the Ipswich area and report to the Outreach Manager.

As an Outreach Adviser you will be working in GP surgeries throughout Ipswich, providing advice, help and support to clients referred to you by medical professionals. You will be part of an emerging team and will have the opportunity to help shape the new service provision ensuring that the high standards of Citizens Advice and our values and aims are delivered in a timely manner.

You will be a confident, self-driven and self-motivated individual with recent experience as a trained generalist adviser or have the ability to undertake intensive training to reach the required standard within minimum timescales. You will have excellent communication skills and be able to self-manage your workload and time. You will have a passion for making a difference in the communities where we have a presence by providing a top quality service for the people of Ipswich.

If you feel you have the relevant experience and would like to become part of this dynamic team please contact our Office Administrator – Administrator (Tel: 01473 219770 or via contact form on this site) for an application form.

If you would like to talk about the roles and where they sit within the Ipswich office please contact Nelleke van Helfteren Deputy Manager (Tel: 01473 219772) or Sally Oakley Outreach Manager.

Closing Date: Friday 8 March 2019
Interview Date: Thursday 14 March 2019

Recall: Real Handful – Choc Orange Chase Single Bars

ALLERGY ALERT ~ 2019-02-13

CHC40x20 Choc Orange Chase Single Bars with best-before dates of 28/07/2019 and 09/09/2019.

Real Handful

As a precautionary measure we are recalling the above product and date codes as they require a ‘May Contain Sesame’ declaration which is not on the packaging.

Any customers who have an allergy to sesame should not consume this product and return to Real Handful for a full refund. No other Real Handful Choc Orange Chase date codes are affected by this recall.

We apologise that it has been necessary to recall this product and the inconvenience caused.

For more information please contact:

Real Handful
Handful HQ4
Rhino Court
Bramhall Moor Lane
Hazel Grove
SK7 5ER

@RealHandful
thehand@realhandful.com

Connect for Health

Today Sally Oakley from Ipswich Citizens Advice commenced the first GP outreach service at Burlington Road Surgery. This is part of the CCG’s Social Prescribing Project called ‘Connect for Health’. Citizens Advice Ipswich will be placing an Adviser in every GP surgery throughout the Ipswich area during 2019. Appointments will be made via the surgery for the day (s) that an Adviser is present for help and support with the problems they are facing. Citizens Advice will also be providing a Community Connector who will provide extra help to improve people’s lives.

Burlington Road Surgery

Vacancy ~ Office Support Assistant

Contract: Permanent subject to probation period

Salary: £15,800

Hours: 37 per week (Monday – Friday) occasional out of office hours (Job share considered)

Closing Date: 19 February 2019

Interview Date:
28 February 2019

An opportunity has arisen to employ an experienced Administration Officer to support Citizens Advice Ipswich with its daily administrative duties.

This vital role supports all aspects of the business, the clients, volunteers and staff; duties will be wide and varied and include, maintaining and updating information, supporting volunteers in daily duties such as confirming appointments, letter writing, equipment ordering, scanning, event organisation and much more.

You will be joining a dedicated team providing a quality service to the people of Ipswich. A positive and ‘can do’ attitude is of utmost importance to our organisation. Computer literacy is essential, alongside excellent communications skills. You will be a good team worker and be able to demonstrate competent Customer service skills.

For application forms please contact: Vicki Parish – Administrator
(Tel: 01473 219770 or via contact form on this site)

For informal discussion please contact: Nelleke van Helfteren Deputy Manager
(Tel: 01473 219772)

Address: 19 Tower Street
Ipswich
IP1 3BE

More children in poverty coming from working families

Childhood poverty in our region is no longer the curse of the unemployed with more and more working families struggling to make ends meed.

More than two thirds of children living in poverty in our region come from working families.

Charities blame benefit freezes, rising living costs, zero hour contracts and the Universal Credit system.

Here is a link to an About Anglia report on the subject in which we feature:

Child Poverty in East Anglia

Vacancy ~ Community Connector ‘Connect for Health’ Pilot

Contract: 9 month Fixed Term initially – subject to funding

Salary: £15, 796 pro rata (£8.21 per hour)

Hours: 15 hours per week

Closing Date: 25 January 2019

Interview Date: Friday 1 February 2019

Citizens Advice Ipswich is looking to recruit a ‘Community Connector’ to assist clients to enabling them to be able to navigate statutory systems, organisations and use facilities in the community effectively.

In this busy role you will be responsible for supporting the clients in the GP surgery who need additional help and support to build their confidence in navigating both statutory bodies and the local community. This will involve on occasion taking Client’s to different locations around the Ipswich area. The role will monitor the Wellbeing of Clients via the Warwick and Edinburgh Wellbeing Score and maintain an up-to-date catalogue of all the groups and organisation within the Ipswich and surrounding area that assist with people’s general wellbeing.

A friendly disposition and computer literacy are essential alongside good communications skills. You will have responsibility for handling personal data and the integrity of IT systems, so it is essential that you have an eye for detail.

The ideal person will be enthusiastic and customer-focused. You will have the ability to identify and support clients’ needs and be able to build their confidence; therefore excellent communication skills and patience are a must. You will have a passion for making a difference in the communities where we have a presence by providing a top quality service for the people of Ipswich.

For job descriptions and application forms please contact: Vicki Parish – Administrator
(Tel: 01473 219770 or via our contact form on this site)

For informal discussion please contact: Sally Oakley – Outreach Manager (Tel: 01473 219770)
Address: 19 Tower Street, Ipswich, IP1 3BE

Petition against funding cuts to Citizens Advice in Suffolk

Suffolk County Council has told Citizens Advice charities operating across the county that it is proposing to halve and then withdraw its funding support. The full council will vote in February on the proposal. Suffolk County Council funding was worth £375,000 to Citizens Advice across Suffolk during 2017/18.

Citizens Advice is already a cost-effective service. Last year, the work done in Suffolk by our 425 volunteers was officially valued at more than £2.4 million. In 2017/18 they helped people write off £7.8 million in debt. National research shows that for every £1 invested in Citizens Advice in Suffolk we generated at least £3.52 in savings to government and public services and £20.84 in wider economic and social benefits.

What would this mean?

This would lead to a significantly reduced service for people in Suffolk. The number of staff and volunteers available to give advice would have to be drastically reduced. The volunteer advisers provide quality assured advice on a wide range of issues such as debt, disability benefits, housing, employment and relationships.

In a joint statement, the Chief Officers of Citizens Advice in Suffolk said:

“We are local charities and we rely on local support. The funding we receive from Suffolk County Council enables us to make a real difference in the lives of people across the county and we are very grateful for that. Our top priority is always the people who need us. The number of people we see continues to grow and our dedicated team of staff and volunteers is committed to serving them. If agreed, these cuts would be a significant reduction in our budgets and will lead to difficult choices. We will work closely with our partners, staff and volunteers to make the best decisions we can in the circumstances.”

What can you do?

We are asking everyone in Suffolk to sign and share a petition against the cuts. Go to https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/citizensadviceinsuffolk to sign the petition.

Please share the petition with friends and family, by email or social media.

As well as signing and sharing the petition you can help by:

Citizens Advice brings cheer to Suffolk this Christmas

Citizens Advice charities have been supporting people in Suffolk this Christmas by helping to solve problems that are a burden to households. The charities helped 22,000 people last year, and say that Christmas can be a difficult time of year for vulnerable people.

This month, Citizens Advice helped a father who approached his local office when his primary school age daughter was placed into his care by social services.

The child’s mother was experiencing a mental health crisis and the child was removed from her care after involvement from the police.

The child was taken to her father immediately, without any of her belongings and with only the clothes she was wearing.

The local Citizens Advice arranged a food parcel for the family and applied for a grant from the local Lions Club so that the father could buy her clothes.

An Adviser arranged for the child to receive a Christmas present through a scheme run by the local Salvation Army and passed her thank you card to the Lions Club.

The local Citizens Advice is helping the father to claim the child benefit and associated benefits that he is entitled to so that he can provide care for his daughter.

Citizens Advice are also helping vulnerable people in Suffolk to heat their homes this winter, in partnership with Suffolk Community Foundation.

Citizens Advice Ipswich administers applications for the Surviving Winter Grant for the whole of Suffolk.

So far, over £20,000 donated by the generous people of Suffolk has been shared in the form of over 170 grants to older people across the County and that is only the beginning of the project. Surviving Winter partners are aiming to reach a target of £150,000 in donations to be awarded to around 800 households to help keep them warm over the winter.

As well as providing this much-needed extra funding, Citizens Advice across the county gives additional help with energy costs, benefits applications and money advice. This helps to keep people well in their homes.

In this year alone, Citizens Advice in Suffolk has dealt with £9m of debt, helping to stabilise the financial situation for families in 2018.

Helping to manage debt leads to people getting some control back in their lives, and allows them to budget for the everyday essentials as well as occasional extras like Christmas presents.

Nicky Willshere of Citizens Advice Ipswich said,

“People turn to us when their problems are difficult to solve, and this is even more important at Christmas, which can be a difficult time for many.”

“Volunteers are the backbone of our service. Last year, 425 volunteers gave their time at their local Citizens Advice in Suffolk to help people in need. Thanks to them, we helped 22,000 people.”

“We are grateful to all of those who enable us to help those in need, including volunteers, funders and charity partners.”

“We receive numerous thank you cards and small gifts from grateful clients at this time of year. Though that is not why we do it, it is great that our volunteers and staff are recognised for their hard work throughout the year.”

“One client put it better than I can – thank you to everyone for helping my family get through this difficult time – I would not have known where to go if you weren’t here. Until now I didn’t know how hard it could be.”

Buyers need to beware as thousands of customers report being ripped off on online marketplaces, says Nicky Willshere, Chief Officer at Citizens Advice Ipswich.

More than 13,000 problems with purchases in England and Wales on online marketplaces were reported to the Citizens Advice consumer service last year.

Online marketplaces – websites where traders and private individuals list and sell products – are becoming increasingly popular for people trying to find the best deal.

As customers turn to online marketplaces in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, Citizens Advice Ipswich is warning residents in Ipswich to be aware of the dangers.

This year’s National Consumer Week, which runs from 26 November to 2 December, focuses on customer rights when buying from an online marketplace. Citizens Advice Ipswich says people don’t always know they have fewer rights when they buy from a private seller, compared to if they buy from a business.

If you buy from a private seller the principle of “buyer beware” applies. This means while the seller can’t misdescribe the item, they can omit information. For example, if a laptop is described as being a silver laptop in “excellent working condition” but it’s faulty, you could ask for your money back. But if “excellent working condition” is missing from the description, you won’t be able to.

As part of National Consumer Week, Citizens Advice Ipswich suggests people check all the product information carefully before buying something on an online marketplace. They also recommend that shoppers take extra care, like reading previous reviews and saving screenshots of their purchases.

Nicky Willshere, Chief Officer said:

“Far too many people are being ripped off on online marketplaces. As part of National Consumer Week we want to make sure customers know what to look out for when making a purchase and their rights if something goes wrong.”

“With millions of people trying to find a bargain online on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, buyers need to beware when purchasing off online marketplaces.”

“To reduce the risk of being left out-of-pocket it’s a good idea to check the product information on these sites carefully before they make a purchase.”

Here are Citizens Advice’s tips for using online marketplaces:

Check the product details

This should include: photos; a description; cost of the item; delivery charges; contact details for the seller; and any cancellation rights.

It should be clear if it’s being sold by a trader or private seller – this is important as your rights are different.

It is wise to read previous reviews as these can often flag potential issues, but watch out for fake reviews. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Take screenshots of the item you want to buy

This will come in handy if the item you receive is different to what you saw on the website.

Use a payment method that protects you

You’ll have a better chance of getting your money back if there’s a problem by using a card or Paypal, particularly if it’s an overseas seller. Avoid paying by bank transfer.

Go back to the seller if there’s a problem

Explain what’s happened, how you’d like them to fix it and give a deadline for them to respond. If they don’t sort it out, see if there’s an alternative dispute resolution service that can help. Report them and the online marketplace to Trading Standards if you think the issue is unfair.

Getting your money back from a private seller

The product description needs to be accurate, but if information is missing you won’t be able to ask for your money back.

If the item doesn’t match the photos on the website, you may also have grounds to ask for your money back.