Citizens Advice Calderdale receives national recognition at awards

The group receiving their Advice Project of the Year award
The group receiving their Advice Project of the Year award

Citizens Advice Calderdale has been honoured by the Citizens Advice service for helping disabled people access the financial support they need.

The charity was given the Advice Project of the Year award at the Citizens Advice annual conference last month.

The group work to help disabled people with their finances

The group work to help disabled people with their finances

The award recognises a project that makes it easier for people to get advice.

Citizens Advice Calderdale started the Health Inequalities Project two years ago with funding from the Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group which allowed closer relationships with local GP surgeries.

The doctors were seeing people about medical problems as usual but some had been turned down for the two main disability benefits - Personal Independent Payment or Employment and Support Allowance - after problems with their assessment meant they were found not to qualify.

Citizens Advice Calderdale teamed up with local practices to take referrals from those who needed guidance on appealing their benefit decision.

Team members with money saving expert Martin Lewis

Team members with money saving expert Martin Lewis

On average, the team has taken on 10 new cases a week, and has helped nine in 10 people to get the disability benefit they need.

Members of the charity, including Amanda Deakin and Jackie Thompson, received the award from Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice.

Gillian Guy said: “Citizens Advice Calderdale is playing a vital role in helping local people solve their financial problems.

“Not only have staff and volunteers given advice to thousands of people this year alone, they are committed to finding new ways of developing their service.”

Alastair McGregor, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Calderdale, said: “The Health Inequalities Project is helping to turn people’s lives around.

“For many who are disabled or have a long term health condition the project can be life changing - when we help them with their appeal they feel empowered to engage with society again.”