Advice Services Coordinator Callum Ogden writes about June for Citizens Advice Edinburgh's core services.
June was a busy month for Citizens Advice Edinburgh - and for the UK in general, to put it lightly. The UK as a whole voted to leave the European Union in June, and we are now already seeing an increase in requests for information and advice on this topic; if you are unsure as to how you may be affected by "Brexit" you can click here to read how the referendum result may impact you.
We at CAE have continued providing free, impartial, confidential and independent advice to hundreds of Edinburgh residents every working day through the efforts of our dedicated volunteers and project staff.
In June 2016 we continue to see a broad trend where welfare benefits advice remains the single largest issue our advisers see requests for information and advice on. This can take many forms, from carrying out benefits entitlement checks to ensure a client is claiming everything they are entitled to, to assisting with appeals and mandatory reconsiderations. Employment and Support Allowance queries remain the single largest issue Edinburgh residents seek advice from us from, with Personal Independence Payments being the second largest issue in June.
The need for specialised debt advice remains a large issue in Edinburgh also with clients, as can be seen below, predominantly showing Council Tax Arrears as a significant presenting problem. In addition to this we are seeing significant levels of credit card debt and unsecured personal loans.
Looking at our top 10 overall areas of advice in June, it is notable that we are seeing Private Rented Sector Housing queries featuring. We consider this is likely to be a reflection of tenancies coming to an end at this time of year, with many unsure of their rights and obligations in these circumstances. In particular we are seeing a larger number of individuals with Tenancy Deposit problems and other kinds of landlord disputes.
We continue to benefit hugely from our team of over 280 dedicated volunteers, the majority of which are generalist advisers trained to be able to assist with practically any issue that Edinburgh residents come to us with. Without this vital resource and the support of members of the public through donations, we could not hope to continue offering a free advice service.
In the coming weeks and months we will be looking more closely at the kinds of advice we are able to provide, as well as local trends we are seeing. To stay updated, be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!
Citizens Advice Edinburgh needs your support to continue helping thousands every month. If you are interested in supporting us, please click here to read about the ways you can help!
Advice Services Coordinator, Citizens Advice Edinburgh