Research & Campaigns

Living on the edge

A report into the impact of rising costs on people in the North East.

The UK has been in the grip of a cost of living crisis since late 2021. Wages and benefits have not kept pace with rapidly rising prices, leaving many people living on the edge and struggling to afford the basic necessities.

Citizens Advice offices in the North East have worked together to conduct research and produce a report to provide a snapshot of how the cost of living crisis is impacting on the clients that we see on a daily basis.

Campaigning for Change

We are very proud to have received a national Citizens Advice award for the collaborative work we did with other local Citizens Advice offices in the region looking at the impact of claiming Universal Credit.

Developing our Youth Advice Project

How can Citizens Advice Northumberland better respond to the needs of younger people?

This last year we have been considering the links between young people’s health and well being, and issues relating to their financial situation.

Our research shows that our young service users have a positive experience when contacting Citizens Advice Northumberland, but that not many young people approach us for help.

The findings of this research are being used to develop and improve the advice offered to young people to ensure they are able to access quality assured information and advice – when and where they need it.

National campaigning

Each local Citizens Advice office sends information about the problems brought to them (but not about their clients) to National Citizens Advice. Evidence is collated to help campaign officers identify national trends. Citizens Advice can then present evidence to policy makers by writing reports and submissions and participating in consultations to improve policies.

Local campaigning

Citizens Advice Northumberland use their client evidence to lobby MPs, councillors, the local authority and others, as well as presenting their findings in the media and taking part in awareness raising activities.

We have recently campaigned locally on issues such as:

  • Universal Credit
  • Mobile phone debts
  • Scams awareness
  • Big Energy Savings Week
  • Homelessness
  • Council Tax Collection

Rural Lives

Understanding financial hardship and vulnerability in rural areas.

Citizens Advice Northumberland recently took part in some research led by Rural Lives which looked into why and how people in rural areas experience poverty and social exclusion, with a focus on financial hardship and vulnerability. The findings emphasise the crucial role that Citizens Advice plays in helping people in rural areas by providing information and advice about their finances.

Life beyond Covid

Citizens Advice Northumberland and Silx Teen Bar, a youth project based in the centre of Blyth, have undertaken some joint research looking at the impact of COVID-19 on young people in the county.

The research was conducted after a call for submissions to the House of Lords COVID-19 Committee which is considering the long-term implications of the pandemic on the economic and social wellbeing of the United Kingdom.

The two Northumberland based charities provided the opportunity for the young people of Blyth to have their voices heard by recording their thoughts, hopes and concerns about their future.  These recordings, as well as the thoughts of Silx youth workers, have been turned into one minute films and have been submitted to the committee alongside a written submission.