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Five reasons to join us as a trustee

We are looking for some very special people to join our board of trustees. We at Citizens Advice Shropshire (CAS) have been part of the local community since 1939 offering free, independent and confidential advice on issues that affect people’s lives. As part of the national Citizens Advice network, we make a real difference to our community. Our trustees are an important part of that team overseeing our direction and service delivery and often offering guidance and support in their own fields of expertise. If you think that you might like to get involved in our invaluable work, here are five very good reasons to help you make up your mind.

It’s a hugely fulfilling role

As a trustee, you would be helping to deliver an invaluable local service that helps thousands of people across the county every year to find a way forward.  In 2019/20 we dealt with almost 30,000 queries from over 7,500 people. Find out more about the work we do here.

Nationally, the Citizens Advice service is the largest advice-giving network in the UK with over 3,000 outlets and 20,000 volunteers. It’s a great organisation to be part of with many benefits for our trustees and volunteers. More information on our national organisation can be found here.

Your expertise could make all the difference

Trustees are volunteers who use their skills, knowledge and experience to help guide and govern CAS. They work with the Chief Executive and other staff to shape strategy and give direction. You can read more about the role of a trustee in the Charity Commission guide The Essential Trustee.

We are particularly interested in recruiting trustees or honorary advisors (see below) with a background or expertise at a senior level in one or more of the following areas:

  • Finance and Accounting
  • Managing Investments
  • Strategic Information & Communications Technology
  • Legal Services
  • Fundraising

A few hours a month is all you need

Our trustees attend approximately six board meetings a year, our AGM and additional sub-groups which normally take place in alternate months. In addition, we have a Trustee Development Day once a year and additional training sessions. In 2015/16, the 2500 local Citizens Advice trustees said that they spent an average of just over 8.5 hours every month undertaking trustee business. Trustee board meetings are usually in the evenings to allow people to fit around full-time employment or studying. All trustees are volunteers but we do pay out of pocket expenses, such as travel to-and-from meetings. 

If your time is limited, explore the honorary adviser option

We’ve introduced an honorary advisor role for those who want to get involved but are not able to commit sufficient time to the role of trustee. Honorary advisers are not trustees but will offer advice and support on specific areas of expertise and occasionally participate in meetings. It’s a great way to help the charity at a strategic level in a particular or specialist area without taking on the full trustee role.

Boost your own professional development

Being a trustee can help you gain experience of strategy and leadership. As a non-executive director you will be involved in setting a strategic vision, influencing and negotiation which will help you boost your CV or kick-start your corporate social responsibility programme. As a trustee at Citizens Advice you would join around 2,500 trustees across England and Wales in 300 local services as well as giving you access to national events and training opportunities. For more information visit the national Citizens Advice website. We would be delighted to hear from you. If you would like to join us as either a trustee or honorary advisor, please download an application form and email it to Chris Boote at chrisboote@cabshropshire.org.uk. If you would like an informal chat about either role please e-mail chrisboote@cabshropshire.org.uk and provide your contact details. We look forward to hearing from you.

Check, switch and save on your energy bills

We’re taking part in Big Energy Saving Winter. Find out how you can Check, Switch and Save on your energy bills today by visiting our campaign website www.bigenergysavingwinter.org.uk

Take the Big Energy Saving Winter quiz to test your knowledge and get tips to help you save money on your energy bills this winter bigenergysavingwinter.org.uk/quiz

New opportunities to join the Trustee Board for Citizens Advice Shropshire.

Citizens Advice Shropshire (CAS) has been part of the local community since 1939. We provide free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone and campaign to improve the policies that affect people’s lives. We’re an independent charity and part of the national Citizens Advice network.

Trustee Board Member

We are looking for new Trustees to join our Board, who will work alongside our existing trustees to shape and oversee the strategy and delivery of our service. The role requires attendance at approximately 6 board meetings a year (once every two months), our AGM and additional sub-groups which normally take place in alternate months. In addition, we have a Trustee Development Day once a year and additional training sessions.

Honorary Advisor

Honorary Advisors are not Trustees but will offer advice and support on specific areas of expertise and occasionally participate in meetings. This role is new for the organisation and may suit people who are unable to commit sufficient time to the role of Trustee but want to help the charity at a strategic level in a particular or specialist area.

We are particularly interested in recruiting Trustees or Honorary Advisors with a background or expertise at a senior level in one or more of the following areas:

  • Finance and Accounting
  • Managing Investments
  • Strategic Information & Communications Technology
  • Legal Services
  • Fundraising

Trustees and Honorary Advisors must be committed to the values of Citizens Advice.
Both roles are voluntary but travel and out of pocket expenses are reimbursed.

Meetings are normally held in Shrewsbury but since Covid 19 are held by video conference via MS Teams.

To apply for either role please download an application form from: www.cabshropshire.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering/

If you would like an informal chat about either role please e-mail chrisboote@cabshropshire.org.uk and provide your contact details.

If you have money worries, rent arrears or are experiencing hardship because of Coronavirus, help is available in Shropshire

Shropshire Council:

  • Local Support & Prevention Fund 0345 678 9078
  • Coronavirus Helpline 0345 678 9028

Citizens Advice Shropshire: 03444 99 11 00

Citizens Advice Telford & The Wrekin: 0300 330 1165

Help to Claim (Universal Credit) England: 0800 144 8444

Low cost & emergency food www.shropshirelarder.org.uk

Coronavirus: Warning to residents on scam calls claiming to be NHS Test and Trace

Shropshire Council’s trading standards team want to make residents aware of reports of a new telephone scam about NHS Test and Trace that is coming to light.

Callers are contacting residents saying they are from NHS Test and Trace, and telling the resident that they have been in contact with someone suffering from COVID-19, and need to have a test sent out to them.

This is then followed with a request for the resident’s bank details; the caller states that the test and results cost £500.

Currently, coronavirus test kits are provided by the NHS so they are therefore free of charge. The Department of Health and Social Care has spoken out about this particular scam, with Dr Jenny Harries, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, saying that legitimate calls would be “very obvious”.

Our trading standards team have been made aware of this, and want to urge people not to fall for this scam. If you need a test sent out to you because you are unable to attend a test site, this is done for free; both delivery and collection, followed up by the result.

Important! NHS Test and Trace will NOT:

  • Ask you for details of card or bank account numbers
  • Ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • Ask you to provide or fill in social media login details
  • Ask you to download anything
  • Ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087.

Scam text messages often encourage the recipient to click a link that redirects them to an unsecured website where personal information may be stolen.  

NHS Test and Trace will only ever call from the number 0300 013 5000, or you will be texted from “NHS”.

Our trading standards team strongly advises you to take the following actions to protect yourselves:

  • Only purchase products from recognised and legitimate retail sources, and when it comes to medicines and medical devices this should be a registered pharmacy
  • Take a moment to think before parting with money, and consider what would be a reasonable price to pay for the product you wish to buy
  • Don’t be rushed into making decisions
  • Don’t assume everyone and every product that is advertised is genuine; rogues and scammers are well practised at the art of persuasion, and they can appear very professional and legitimate with calls often not being “very obvious” that they are scams
  • It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore requests from traders, whether this is someone calling you on the phone, standing on your doorstep or sending you an email.

If you have any concerns about trading practices relating to COVID-19 or any other issue, you should report these to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

Keep informed and sign up to our daily coronavirus email updates

Shropshire Council wants to keep you as up to date and informed as possible. To help us do this, we have developed a coronavirus update that will be sent daily at 8pm via email to anyone who has signed up to our e-bulletins.

This update includes the day’s key Shropshire Council news, and some key news from our partners, relating to coronavirus-linked issues. Please click here to sign up for the updates.

Please do encourage your family and friends to sign up to the updates too. This will help us keep everyone up to date with the rapidly-evolving crisis.

Test yourself in our scams quiz and read our top tips to protect yourself from being scammed

This year’s Scams Awareness campaign kicks off on 15 June.

It’s an opportunity to help your community be #ScamAware so they can stop scammers all year round, not just during the coronavirus crisis.

Lots of scammers are using coronavirus to trick people into giving them money or personal information.

We’re here to give you the skills and confidence you’ll need to stop scams in their tracks. Check out our website for more info https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/sa20/

How #ScamAware you? Be #ScamAware and learn ways to stop 🛑 report 📞 and talk 🗣️ about scams. Test yourself in our scams quiz and read our top tips to protect yourself from being scammed. https://bit.ly/37go0r6

Thank you to our wonderful volunteers for their dedication

As part of Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1 to 7 June, Citizens Advice Shropshire wants to thank volunteers for their contribution throughout the year and support during the crisis.

Over 70 volunteers at Citizens Advice Shropshire contribute 366.6 hours each week.

In the last year, Citizens Advice Shropshire has helped 7,529 people with 29,698 problems, such as debt, housing, benefit and employment issues.

Hannah, Generalist Adviser at Citizens Advice Shropshire said:

“Citizens Advice provides a unique service to everyone, in being a first port of call on such a massive range of issues – everything really. I use my skills to help people find the information and answers they need. I love that feeling of knowing that someone might feel better after coming to Citizens Advice than they did before”.

Jackie Jeffrey, Chief Officer at Citizens Advice Shropshire said:

“Throughout the year our wonderful volunteers contribute their time and energy to make a huge difference to people’s lives and help keep our vital service running.

“I cannot thank them enough for their dedication and support at this time”.

Coronavirus Testing in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin: What You Need to Know

Issued by: Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP)

Who can get tested?

Testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) has been expanded to everyone over the age of five with symptoms. People can ask for a test if they, or a member of their household, have the recent onset of any of the following symptoms: 

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

The test needs to be done in the first five days of having symptoms (it is better to apply for a test in the first three days if possible).

Members of the public (who are not essential workers) who have symptoms of coronavirus should use the national booking system by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Those who do not have any access to the internet, or who have difficulty with the digital portals, are able to ring a new 119 service to book their test.

People experiencing any of the above symptoms and their household members should self-isolate immediately. If you need medical advice about your symptoms use NHS 111 online or call NHS 111.  

Testing for essential workers

Essential Workers and members of their household who have symptoms can use the dedicated local arrangement (by speaking to their employer) or should register for a test through the Self-Referral and Employer Portals on gov.uk.

Care Homes in England can continue to register for delivery of tests for all their staff and residents, whether or not they have symptoms: gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-care-home.

How to get tested in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin

Testing can either be done at home by applying for a home testing kit or by registering for an appointment at a drive-through testing centre.

Testing is provided at drive-through testing centres, currently by appointment only, and the correct booking procedures must be followed in order to avoid being turned away.

In Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin this may be at a Mobile Testing Unit based in a temporary location in Shropshire, or further afield, at a regionally based drive-through testing centre.

The test itself involves taking a swab of the inside of the nose and the back of the throat, using a long cotton bud. This can be done by the person themselves or by someone else. Results of the test and subsequent advice will be provided.

Victoria Rankin, Executive Lead for People for Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, said: “If you have symptoms of coronavirus you should book a test as soon as you can, ideally in the first three days. 

“Testing will help keep NHS and other public services running smoothly, allow people to return to work as quickly as possible and help keep those who are vulnerable safe.

“The Mobile Testing Units based in temporary locations in the county have increased our testing capabilities, so we hope they will be well-used by those that need them.”