'Thank you Citizens Advice & Princess Anne knows her stuff...' blog discussion

edited 20 January 2010 at 5:47PM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
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This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.
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  • Congratulations on your award, Martin! There's a telephone version in Scotland, Citizens Advice Direct. I have just started training to be an advisor with them and am very excited about it; I hope to begin studying Law in September and am looking forward to the knowledge I will gain.
  • I'm glad that princess Anne is aware of her responsibilities as a patron and not just a figure head. However my experiences with CAB have been disappointing. I needed advice on a job dismissal and the 'volunteer' admitted he was a retired civil servant with no experience so referred me to their legal counsel. They were keen to help but didn't. I was also a witness at a dismissal tribunal where the CAB legal representative didn't know the procedure and lost the case on behalf of my colleague.

    I know they are volunteers, I know they are trying to be 'do gooders', but what is needed is skilled professionals to give up their time and lets face it they won't when the CAB office opening times are 10am-4pm with occasional evening surgery.
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
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    Not all staff are volunteers & TBH I think you have had a bad experience.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    MFW. Finally mortgage free February 2021****
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • alwaysonthego_2alwaysonthego_2 Forumite
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    I'm glad that princess Anne is aware of her responsibilities as a patron and not just a figure head. However my experiences with CAB have been disappointing. I needed advice on a job dismissal and the 'volunteer' admitted he was a retired civil servant with no experience so referred me to their legal counsel. They were keen to help but didn't. I was also a witness at a dismissal tribunal where the CAB legal representative didn't know the procedure and lost the case on behalf of my colleague.

    I know they are volunteers, I know they are trying to be 'do gooders', but what is needed is skilled professionals to give up their time and lets face it they won't when the CAB office opening times are 10am-4pm with occasional evening surgery.
    As a volunteer adviser that gives up my time on a weekly basis I frankly find your comments patronising. I do not believe I am a do-gooder, I enjoy helping people explore their options and I believe that I have saved a few lives, helping people see things more clearly.

    I think you will find that alot of the volunteers are retired lawyers, social workers. We recieve ongoing training and supervision so our skills are kept up to date.

    You have had a bad experience, as like any organisation the CAB are not perfect but you seem to demanding a service from a charity, who has a lack of funds, to offer a round the clock service which is just not possible.

    I would urge anyone who is not happy with the level of service that they recieve to contact the branch manaer, but the majority of the volunteers do a good job.
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
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    Thank you alwaysonthego.
    As a volunteer I echo all you have said.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    MFW. Finally mortgage free February 2021****
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • I've had both very good and very poor advice from the CAB . . . on one occasion I actually lost one month's JSA and housing/council tax benefit payment because somebody gave me the wrong info!! :eek::eek::eek: I do continue to turn to them for advice when I need to but make sure I double check any really important facts.:)

    However, I think the point of this is thread is to say "WELL DONE!" to Martin. Any public recognition for the brilliant work he does with MSE and beyond is well deserved. He should be made an OBE at the very least:T:T:T

    Keep up the great work, we love ya :beer::beer::beer:
    mmmm, still seeking something witty to be my auto-signature . . . so this will have to suffice for now ;)
  • NileNile Forumite, Board Guide
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    Congratulations on your Citizens Advice Champion of the Year award Martin............you (and Mrs MSE) must be very proud.:j

    I had a good experience at the CAB, they helped me to deal with a very stressful situation and supported me in my hour of need.:A
    Hi, I'm the Board Guide on the In my home (includes DIY) and the I wanna buy-it or do-it boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember that Board Guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to [email protected]. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    10 Dec 2007 - Led Zeppelin - I was there. :j :cool2: I wear my 50 (gold/red/white) blood donations pin badge with pride. Give blood, save a life.
  • We'll be able to see if Martin Cooper has a valid point shortly by checking how CAB lived up to its promise to use £10 million EXTRA funding to provide longer opening hours :
    CAB press release, 16 Feb 09
    The extra funding will allow the charity’s bureau network to stay open for approximately 170,000 additional hours, benefiting around 600,000 extra clients during the 14 month period to the end of March 2010.
    The funding was announced by the chancellor in November’s Pre Budget Report and makes up a substantial part of the total £15m allocated for boosting debt advice across the sector.'


    I think I fall into the do gooder category. I applied to be a volunteer through CAB's online application system. I heard nothing back until months later when I received an email saying sorry for the lengthy delay in getting back to you, we don't have any vacanies currently.
  • Newly_retiredNewly_retired Forumite
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    The CAB branch where I volunteer has more than doubled its telephone access hours. We are now available 10 - 5 Mon - Fri thanks to additional funding.
  • 456789456789 Forumite
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    Congratulations on the award
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