March 2022 Newsletter 
   CAEE engaging with the local community
CEO Lisa Davis            
Dear Friends,
Whilst we persevere through difficult times, and thinking especially of our Ukrainian friends and families, we at CAEE are continuing to look out for those in our community in need, particularly in view of rising energy and food prices.

During the last month we met with West Ewell Residents Association, Epsom & Ewell BC Social Prescribing team, Peacock & Co solicitors and the Rotary Club of Ewell - all as part of our community engagement programme.

Lisa Davis presenting to the Rotary Club of Ewell
Our team attended the Sustainable Spending fair held at the University of Creative Arts to tell the new students how we can help them. 

Louise Curd meeting a student at the UCA Sustainable Spending fair

We also met with up with local Mid Surrey Community Fridges colleagues, who do valuable work redistributing food that would otherwise go to waste - please do pay them a visit if  you would like to share good, surplus food.  Details on their website.

Louise Curd and Clare Davies, CEO MSCF

We are proud of the work we do in the community, and enjoy informing local audiences about our clients, their needs and how we help them. We regularly encounter the misconceptions that we are either a well-funded national charity, or that we are part of the Government and/or Council.  These are both untrue!  We are a small, local, independent charity here to help the people of Epsom & Ewell with free advice and information.  Although we are well supported by EEBC, we must still raise additional funds in order to function at the level needed by the community. 

If you know a group who would benefit from a short presentation from us, do let me know - we are delighted to engage with local organisations and individuals to talk about our work and how that work benefits not only our clients but also the wider community

With the cost of living on the rise along with increasing energy prices, many people are facing desperate choices. We are observing record numbers of people coming to us for crisis support and fuel debt issues, ahead of further price hikes in April.  We are looking out for the impact on our clients and gathering data to provide evidence for the national campaigns team, who are working to raise awareness of these issues to a wider audience.

We will continue to connect with resident and work groups in the borough so that our community is well-informed on how they can turn to us when they may suddenly, without notice, find themselves out of a job, homeless, struggling to pay bills, or whatever the problem may be. It can happen to any of us at any time in our lives.

With best wishes,
Lisa Davis
Making a difference

In February, we:
Helped 409 people
Handled 698 Issues
Had 1,172 contacts with clients and third parties
Gained additional income of £63,523 for our clients

Top issues were benefits and tax credits, debt and housing.

    How we help people

The range of issues that people ask us about is very wide, for example: visa applications, court processes, small claims, probate, inheritance tax, wills, care costs, neighbour disputes, consumer issues, student loans, personal injuries, marriage and relationship issues. If you, or someone you know, needs our help please get in touch here or use the button below.

Client focus - helping reunite mother and son 
At Citizens Advice we promise to help people living locally, whoever they are, whatever their problem.

Our client Anna has been living and working successfully in our borough for 4 years and has gained pre-settled status. She is from an Eastern European state and has been paying a mortgage on a house there which is home to her husband and 14-year-old son.

In January Anna’s husband sadly died and she is now desperate for her son to join her here in the UK. She wants to understand how to get her son a school place and whether she would qualify for child and housing benefit. This is complicated for Anna. State family law means she can’t establish or realize the value of the house which is held in trust until her son is 18. At present she is renting a single room and has begun looking for a 2-bedroom flat which would be hard to afford.

Our adviser explained how to arrange her son’s move and is helping her find the support that she needs.

Volunteer or work for us!

Our volunteers are the backbone of the organisation and are always ready to help our clients with a friendly face and listening ear.  Why not join them?  We are currently recruiting for Trustees, Advisers, Adviceline Advisers and Digital Support Advisers.  For further information about all these roles, please visit our website.

We are also recruiting an Outreach Generalist Adviser, who will help us reach more people in our community with information and advice for those who may find it difficult to come to our offices but need face to face advice.  Please visit our website for more information and to apply. 
Ukraine information on our website
The situation is changing daily. You can find information on the Citizens Advice website that will direct you to the latest updates if you need to help get family members over to the UK or you want to host a family
How to contact us
Covid Update - Drop in Service resuming 

Following the Government's recent announcement about removal of Covid restrictions, we are delighted to re-open our drop in service weekly on Thursday mornings from Thursday 31 March - details below.  We will continue to monitor our service and respond to local need as best we can.
Aviva fundraising for financial literacy project
We are delighted to announce that one of our projects has been chosen by Aviva as part of their Community Fund – a crowdfunding scheme where Aviva employees can allocate £25 (donated by Aviva) to their chosen charity project.

We are raising funds to deliver financial literacy sessions in schools and colleges in Epsom & Ewell.  We have already secured funding from Surrey County Councillors Steve McCormick and Bernie Muir and a grant from the Ruxley Foundation.  We thank them for their support.

We see many people with serious and complex debt problems and want young people to understand about money, loans, credit, how to stay out of debt and even how to save!  We believe prevention is better than cure, so if you work for Aviva, please support us to help our young people understand more about money as they move into the adult world.

The fund can also take donations from members of the public, so please do support us if you can.

Visit our crowdfunding page for more details and to donate.  The more we raise, the more young people we can reach. 
Walking to raise money

The Guildford Legal Walk is a 10 km walk through the Surrey countryside around Guildford, led by Surrey's judges with teams from many of the law firms, Surrey University's Law School and other local citizens advice offices - all of whom will be raising money for their chosen legal advice clinic.
Please sponsor our team to help us to raise funds for those who need our services in Epsom & Ewell.  Visit the LLST website to donate or to join in!
Community information – can you help?

We’ve been dropping off our information posters at shops, libraries, banks etc around the borough, and in particular where we see a community board. If you know of a good location please get in touch.

Nationwide Bank in Epsom kindly posted up our information details.

And if you are holding a community event during the Jubilee weekend and want to involve or host a local cause, get in touch and we can support you.

Amazon Smile - donate while you shop online
Another way to donate without costing you a penny is to buy online through Amazon Smile.  Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price of eligible purchases to the charity of your choice – such an easy way to raise funds for us
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Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell is an operating name of Epsom & Ewell Citizens Advice Bureau, a company limited by guarantee and registered in England number 04079521

We are an incorporated charity. Our charity registration number is 1085779

Authorised & regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN: 617602

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