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Information drop-in sessions now available in Whitchurch

Hooray! Our outreach in Whitchurch Civic Centre will be reopening from 18th May 2022.

Information drop-in sessions will run every Wednesday from 10am to 1pm and are open to everyone- no appointments necessary at this outreach. There is CCTV at the Civic Centre, but not in the rooms we use for interviews.

If you have any questions about how to contact us you can call our FREE Adviceline on

0808 278 7894 or go to our get advice page.

Job opportunity – Communications and Community Project Coordinator

Tackling food insecurity in South West Shropshire
Communications and Community Project Coordinator

Are you passionate aboutmaking a difference, making society fairer and working for an organisation that values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination? 

This exciting role will involve working with communities in South West Shropshire to develop sustainable community led solutions to reduce health inequalities by focussing on food insecurity.

The post is funded by the Health Foundation and Local Government Association until September 2024 as part of the Shaping Places for Healthier Lives Program. The project is a partnership between Citizens Advice Shropshire, Shropshire Council, Public Health?

We encourage and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds.

Fixed term contract until 30th September 2024.

Part time 30 hours per week.

Salary £24,920 pro rata. (Actual £20,205)

To start as soon as possible.

The post will be subject to a DBS check. Further details and application form (no CVs) are available from our website https://www.cabshropshire.org.uk/get-involved/jobs/

Closing date:            midnight Sunday 22nd May 2022

Interviews:               30th/31st May 2022

Adviceline Changes in May

We are very sorry but our Shropshire Adviceline will be closed on:

  • Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May all day
  • Wednesday 11th May from 1.30pm

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

You can still access self-help and information online www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Citizens Advice urges more support as cost-of-living crisis mounts in Shropshire

Citizens Advice Shropshire  is warning that – without further government action – people across Shropshire risk falling into severe hardship in order to shoulder energy price hikes.

The local charity, which has seen the number of people needing help with energy debts increase by 21% since last year, has found that:

  • 19% in West Midlands are currently unable to afford energy bills, even if they cut back or fall behind on other essentials
  • This jumps to 32% of people after the energy price cap hike on 1st April 

Citizens Advice Shropshire is calling for urgent government help. Firstly by increasing benefits in April in line with the current rate of inflation, rather than last September’s rate.  And secondly, by offering further support to prevent families once again choosing between heating and eating in October when the price cap is predicted to rise again.

Alison, Advisor at Citizens Advice Shropshire said:

“We talk to Shropshire residents every day and we have noticed a huge increase in people who don’t know how they will make ends meet.  A typical working family, who were just about managing, are now needing to turn to Foodbanks to feed their children, and are falling behind with their household bills.  The huge increase in energy bills feels like the final straw.”

Jackie Jeffrey, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Shropshire said:

“At Citizens Advice Shropshire we’re seeing first hand that the budgets of people across Shropshire are being pushed to the brink.

“Current measures announced by the government don’t go far enough. Only 7% of people across the region think the energy rebate will make a significant difference to their ability to pay their energy bill from October. If the government doesn’t at least increase benefits to match the current rate of inflation, many more households will be pushed to crisis point.”

#KeepTheLifeline advice press release

Universal Credit cut: Everything you need to know

Over the coming weeks, people claiming Universal Credit will receive notifications about a cut to their benefits this autumn. Benefits experts at Citizens Advice Shropshire, which is campaigning against the cut, set out what this means for claimants.

When will the cut happen?

As it stands, the government is set to slash benefits by £20 a week – equivalent to £1,040 a year – from 6 October. The exact date people will see the cut kick in will depend on the day they get their Universal Credit payment. For many, this means September will be the last month they see their benefits paid at existing levels.

How many people will be affected?

If plans go ahead, the cut will hit nearly six million people on Universal Credit. This includes 7327 people in North Shropshire, 7231 people in Shrewsbury and Atcham and 4934 people in Ludlow.

According to the latest available figures, approximately 40% of residents set to see their benefits drop are families with children and 42% are already in work.

How much could I lose?

While every Universal Credit claim will drop by around £85 a month, the proportion of income claimants will lose will vary depending on their circumstances. Single people under 25 are set to be hit by the biggest drop.

Monthly standard allowances will drop:

  • By a quarter for single claimants under 25, from £344 to £257.33
  • By a fifth for single claimants over 25, from £411.51 to £324.84
  • By 17% for joint claimants under 25, from £490.60 to £403.93
  • By 14% for joint claimants over 25, from £596.58 to £509.91

What support is available if I’m worried about my income?

You’re not alone and there is support available. Everyone’s situation is different which is why speaking to a trained adviser may be helpful. Depending on your circumstances, support could include:

  • A benefits check. This will help you verify you’re getting all the support you’re entitled to. You can use an online calculator as a starting point.
  • Support with essential costs. You can contact Shropshire council to see if they can give you any extra help from a hardship fund, including food or essential things like clothes. shropshire.gov.uk
  • Help with debt. Some bills can cause you more problems than others if you don’t pay them. Rent or mortgage arrears, energy bills and council tax are your priority debts as there can be serious consequences if you don’t pay them. Citizens Advice Shropshire can provide guidance if you’re struggling with bills.
  • Free school meals. If you have children and you get certain benefits, you might be able to get free school meals for your children.
  • Food bank vouchers. If you can’t afford the food you can ask for a referral from Citizens Advice Shropshire or an organisation that’s already supporting you – for example, a charity, school or children’s centre – for a food bank voucher.

Jackie Jeffrey at Citizens Advice Shropshire, said:

“Many people seeking our advice at the moment are unaware of an impending cut to their Universal Credit. Understandably, when they realise their benefits are set to drop by £20 a week it causes a lot of anxiety.

“If you’re in this position, remember you are not alone and there is support available. As a first step, make sure you’re checking your online journal regularly so you know how much your benefits will reduce by and when.

“Citizens Advice Shropshire, which is campaigning against the cut, is on hand to help you if you’re worried about making ends meet.”

 -ends-

 We give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem.

  1. Figures on how many people will see a cut to their benefits refer to the working age population. Data from May 2021.
  2. The latest available data for the number of families with children on Universal Credit is from February 2021.

#KeepTheLifeline summer press release

‘Keep Universal Credit lifeline’ urges Citizens Advice 

  • Benefits cut of £20-a-week set to hit 1 in 9 in Shropshire   
  • Local charity warns of increased debt and hardship if ‘lifeline’ ends in October 

Citizens Advice Shropshire is urging the government against a cut to Universal Credit that would impact 1 in 9 working-age people in Shropshire. 

According to the latest available figures, approximately40% of Shropshire residents set to see their benefits drop are families with children and 42%are already in work.  

Staff and volunteers at the local charity have helped 1942people with Universal Credit since March last year. It says the £20 a week increase has been a ‘lifeline’ and has supported people who were already struggling before the pandemic as well as those hit by Covid job losses. 

The charity warns a cut to the benefit this autumn – as energy bills rise with the colder weather – will see many struggle to afford their essential costs. It fears a drop in income could be particularly difficult for new benefits claimants who may be unaware of the looming cut. 

Cases seen by frontline advisers include a single mum of 3 school aged children who told us the £20 uplift was enabling her to pay for broadband connection so that her children could do their schoolwork at home. With £20 uplift due to end she did not know if she would be able to maintain this and she was worried how this would impact on her children education, with most homework/home study now being online. 

Alison, Advice Session Supervisor of Citizens Advice Shropshire said: 

‘’The £20 per week uplift has been a lifeline for working families who are facing rising household bills alongside threats of redundancy or unstable zero hours contracts. Families that are already worried about how they will put food on the table every week and keep their homes warm this winter before the £20 cut to their incomes.’’ 

Sue, Debt Caseworker of Citizens Advice Shropshire said: 

‘’It is acknowledged that there are enormous levels of debt to be dealt with in the coming months/years. For anyone who has fallen into rent arrears, retaining the £20 uplift would make the difference between managing a small payment to pay off the arrears, and avoiding possession action, or failing and potentially losing their home.’’ 

Jackie Jeffrey, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Shropshire said: 

“Every day, our staff and volunteers see the difference the increase to Universal Credit has made to families. It’s what has helped them keep their heads above water. 

“Without that extra money, we fear we’d see more people coming to us in debt, unable to pay their bills or turning to food banks because they can’t afford the essentials.  

“As we look to rebuild from Covid, the government must invest in the benefits system and keep this vital lifeline.” 

 -ends-  

We give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem. 

  1. Figures on how many people will see a cut to their benefits refer to the working age population. Data from May 2021.  
  2. The latest available data for the number of families with children on Universal Credit is from February 2021. 

Pension Wise is now part of MoneyHelper

Pension Wise is now part of MoneyHelper.

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper. Find out more about getting #pensions guidance at moneyhelper.org.uk/pensionwise.

If you’re over 50 get free, impartial guidance about your defined contribution #pension through Pension Wise, which is now part of MoneyHelper. Book your appointment at moneyhelper.org.uk/pensionwiseor by calling 0800 138 3944.

Do you have money worries or are you worried about debt or budgeting? Help is available

ACT NOW:

  • Please don’t put off dealing with your debt. The longer you leave it before asking for help, the more likely the amount of money you owe is going to increase.
  • Please do not borrow money at high interest rates, including money from illegal lenders. This will put you into greater debt.
  • There are organisations that provide free, confidential, and impartial advice and support with your money worries.
  • If you don’t pay your rent arrears and they continue to increase, your home may be at risk.

Please click here for information about where to get help

Shaping Places Food Insecurity Focus South West Shropshire

Tell us your experience of getting FOOD ON A BUDGET in South West Shropshire. For more information click on flyer below.

Shaping Places flyer


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