Community’s citizens’ advice bureau sees demand double in past year, report says
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Community’s citizens’ advice bureau sees demand double in past year, report says

Paperweight's latest report finds demand rose across services in last year, particularly welfare and benefits

Paperweight has released an annual report on demand for services. Pictured is an image of a woman on the phone.
Paperweight has released an annual report on demand for services. Pictured is an image of a woman on the phone.

The community’s citizens’ advice bureau has seen demand for services more than double in the past year, an annual report has found.

Paperweight supports those in the community at a time of crisis. More than 160 volunteer caseworkers offer guidance on financial, legal, welfare and benefits issues.

The report, published last week, found that demand rose sharply across all services in the last year, with over 1,000 cases between July 2018 and July 2019.

Demand for help with welfare and benefits saw some 146 cases in the last year, compared with 70 the previous year.

The introduction of Universal Credit and the change to Personal Independence Payments were among significant changes affecting demand, the report found.

Meanwhile, demand for support with family law cases doubled to 68 cases from 34 the previous year.

According to the report, due to the “almost total abolition of legal aid in the family and matrimonial courts, an ever-increasing number of applicants are faced with the daunting task of representing themselves by acting in person.”

The latest figures suggest the community is not exempt from broader societal changes, the charity’s chair Benjamin Conway and CEO Bayla Perrin said.

“The cuts in social services, increased longevity and long-term societal trends such as the rising divorce rate have all contributed to the growth in demand for our support,” the two said.

 

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