Research & Campaigns

The stories our clients tell us provide a unique insight into the problems faced by people in the UK.  With over 6000 clients seen in the Borough alone last year, this evidence is hard to ignore. We speak up about the policies and services that cause people problems.

We can use this insight and data to do several things:

  • To help us research issues further.
  • To influence decision makers to change policies and practices.
  • To campaign to get decision makers to change policies and practices.

We use Research to ask the questions that identify the extent of problems that appear to trend in the enquiries that people bring to us. The evidence from this research feeds into our campaigns.

Campaigns are how we use evidence to raise awareness of issues, both locally and nationally. Locally, we may use research evidence in liaison meetings with council departments or local branches of (for example) the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Nationally, we feed into requests for evidence from the national Citizens Advice Central Research and Campaigns team.

Recent Campaigns include Advice for the Future – a petition supporting the provision of free advice; Fair Pay for Pre-pay – a campaign to reduce the tariffs for pre-pay fuel users who are often the poorest in society; Making ESA fit for work – a research and campaign exercise that produced a significant body of anecdotal and statistical evidence to lobby for change to the way ESA claims were handled by the DWP.

The purpose of all this activity is to bring about change. We do this to have a broader impact on the policies we see affecting our clients and by using the evidence of the people we can benefit a much greater number of people who are equally disadvantaged by rules, regulations and policies.

What do we do with your evidence?

Where there is a particularly striking feature of a case, the advice worker that sees the client may raise a Quick Evidence Form. This records the outstanding feature that has given cause for concern. The Quick Evidence Form is then passed on to another volunteer who then writes a more detailed Evidence Form to clarify the issue being raised.

The detailed Evidence Form is recorded electronically and may be forwarded to the Central Research and Campaigns team. They can use it to get a picture of emerging trends nationally and make a decision about whether to make a nationwide call for further evidence. They cannot access the full case record if the client has not given permission for them to see it.

If you’d like more information then please email us at chelmsley@casb.org.uk

 

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