In January, the Welsh Government announced the £8.04m Single Advice Fund to enable support services, led by Citizens Advice Cymru, to provide free advice on debt, housing, employment, welfare benefit and other issues until December 2020. This funding has now been extended until March 2021.
The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, said:
It’s vital that the most vulnerable people in our communities have access to free and impartial advice that they can trust, especially during these difficult times.
Between January and June, more than 52 thousand people in Wales accessed advice services to help solve issues including welfare benefit, employment and debt related problems. During lockdown, advice services adapted to prioritise telephone, email and webchat support, but as restrictions have eased, some face to face services will be resuming.
“It’s really important that people can access free, accurate advice, and the issues people have faced aren’t going away. I’m therefore delighted to confirm that we’ll be continuing to fund Citizens Advice Cymru and their partners until at least March 2021, enabling them to deliver the advice and wraparound support that residents in Wales need to maximise their income, resolve employment issues, and manage debt.
Rebecca Woolley, Director of Citizens Advice Cymru said:
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted just how important it is for people to be able to quickly access accurate and independent advice. We’ve made huge changes to our service to accommodate changing guidelines and make sure that we’re available to people whatever the circumstances.
We’re delighted that the Welsh Government has extended the Single Advice Fund until March next year. We will continue to work with our partners to support people through any issues, not only Covid-19, to give them the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward - whoever they are, and whatever their problem.