What We Do & How We Do It

Research and Campaigns – Giving a Voice To Our Clients

The mission of the CaSSCA Research and Campaigns team is “to improve, change and challenge the policies, legislation, practices and attitudes that affect people’s lives by sorting problems at source.”

The issues our clients bring to us make it possible for us to spot trends in policies, practices or legislation. If a client issue cannot be solved by advice alone, there may be a need to raise a social policy key issue.

For example, where there is a gap in current regulatory or legal frameworks, where a government department or company is not abiding by regulations or the law, or where an individual or group of people are not being treated fairly.

Advice staff will flag up potential issues, which may then be used to influence local and national campaigns. Citizens Advice has a strong record of influencing government and opinion formers in developing and changing policies practices and legislation.

As well as flagging up potential issues, advice staff will consider whether clients can take direct and empowering action themselves. For example, writing a letter of complaint to Trading Standards or filling out an online survey.

Campaign Success

Local Campaign Success

Our Research and Campaigns team has been involved with a number of campaigns and activities which have an impact on the lives of local people, for example:

  • Using client cases to identify issues of concern in the local community, and keeping people informed about what they can do
  • CaSSCAB representatives inputting into local authority housing strategies and reports
  • Lobbying MPs to demonstrate the effects of Welfare Reform on their constituents

National Campaign Success

Using the information and stories gathered by local bureaux, Citizens Advice works to generate conversation and highlight issues which are having a real impact on peoples lives.

Examples of previous Citizens Advice campaign successes are:

  • Campaigning with other organisations to improve the process of assessment for employment and support allowance (summer 2011)
  • Enabling up to 14,000 people to escape unmanageable debt through debt relief orders (summer 2011)
  • Alongside other organisations, securing a 3 month reduction in the qualifying time for the Personal Independence Payment and delaying the application of a benefit cap for those who had previously been in work in the past 12 months (summer 2012)
  • Helping secure the suspension of consumer credit licences of certain payday lenders who were not following the rules, by reporting evidence to the OFT (Jan 2014)
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