“The Advice Stop”

by Gateshead Advice Centre

About the project


Tipping Point £2,000
And on to our 2nd one! £4,000
And one more makes 3 £6,000
tipping point
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!
tipping point
25 hrs
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!

More about the project

What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
Welfare Reform, the introduction of Universal Credit and the withdrawal of Legal Aid Funding, combined with a worsening economic climate mean there is an ever increasing demand for the services offered by the Citizens Advice Bureau. Despite popular belief we are not funded from Central Government, but rely on our ability to gain grant income, win contracts and to generate public donations and support. At the end of the last financial year cuts to our funding led to the decommissioning of several of our outreach venues leaving these communities stranded with no advice provision in their neighbourhoods We want to reach as many people as possible to tell them about their rights and responsibilities. We want to make sure they know how to hold agencies accountable for their actions and where to go to get help. We know we can’t possibly meet the demand for our services without changing the way we reach out to people. Digital transformation will help us to help others. It’s not the whole answer but it’s a step in the right direction.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
We used to have 20 outreaches across the Borough of Gateshead which helped us to reach over 1600 families in rural, hard to reach areas during the last financial year. Our outreach programme has now been reduced to just two venues reducing our capacity to help people. Whilst we still operate in the town centre we fear the cost of travel is too prohibitive for many people to make the journey, in the must rural parts of Gateshead it can cost up to £8 on public transport to get to the town centre. The need for advice is only going to increase. Last year we dealt with 1600 welfare benefit appeals. We won 75% of these appeals. This means we are either exceptionally good or the decision making process is flawed. We like to think it is combination of the two. The need for good quality benefit advice is increasing with every week that goes by, the introduction of universal credit is bringing unprecedented change with far reaching implications. The withdrawal of legal aid means we will no longer be able to support people through the tribunal process but with your help we can at least give them the advice and information they need to help themselves, we can support them to take action themselves and empower them to improve their own situation.
What is your solution?
We know there are big changes on the horizon with far reaching implications for the most vulnerable in our society. We know our capacity to help is reducing as changes to legal aid take affect and our funding is cut or withdrawn completely. Part of our solution to reduce the impact of this change is to invest in digital transformation. This includes installing self-help consoles at community venues throughout the Borough so people are empowered, so they know their rights and responsibilities and they can help themselves, holding agencies to account when things go wrong.
How will you deliver this?
The Advice Stop is designed to be a self managed console. Each Kiosk comes with a three year maintenance contract so, once we have purchased them they are cost neutral to us during this period.

Get involved

Here are some great ways to get involved with the project and help out. If you have...
  • 2 minutes
    Go on the site and vote / donate Follow us on Twitter Tweet about our work Mention us in conversation, you’ll be amazed how many people have used our service.
  • 5 minutes
    Send details of our project to other organisations, friends, family or colleagues you feel would be interested or benefit from our project. Think about your skills and how you could use them to help someone in need.
  • 15 minutes
    Read more about our Advice Stop project and how we want to help people. Tell us what makes you tick. What makes you or your organisation special? Set up a standing order to make a regular donation so we can change people’s lives. Even a £1 per month donation can make a difference.
  • 30 minutes
    Tell us what you think of our work. What is your experience of Citizens Advice? Spend some time checking out our website. Read our lastest impact report.
  • A few hours
    Help us to fundraise. Take part in one off fundraising event Come and visit us, we’d love to show you around and tell you about our work. Invite us to spend some time in your organisation. Share your good practice so we can learn from it. Do you share our concern about welfare reform? If so, write to your M.P to tell him how you feel about it and to urge him to get in touch with his CAB for support.
  • Regular time commitment
    Volunteer! We have all sorts of volunteer roles, there’s something to suit everyone. We need people to help us with social policy work, publicity, communication, ICT, fundraising, administration, trustees, building maintenance, driving duties, face to face advice, telephone advice, reception and event management. You could even volunteer to help us with this project - become a volunteer to help promote our project and / or offer assistance to those who may need support in using the self help device – become an ICT Champion for us! Together we can make a difference. Fundraising We need people to help us fundraise. This could be anything from a one off donation to large scale events like climbing a mountain or swimming the channel. We can’t do our work without your help. Go on, give it a go ……. Campaigning We are passionate about social policy. We value diversity and promote equality. We challenge discrimination wherever we find it. Help us campaign for a better deal with our most vulnerable citizens. Just two hours every week can make a big difference to us, your neighbour and your community. Our campaign work really does have the power to change lives. Get involved today. Give us a call. Come see what we do People think they know what a CAB does, we think we’re worthy of another look. If you’re curious contact us, you can come and spend the day with us, find out what it’s really like to work on the frontline of a CAB. We think you’ll be surprised.

Share your comments

Opinions and comments mentioned on the FundIt.Buzz website are the personal views of individual contributors. FundIt.Buzz takes no responsibility for these views. However if you find something that you think does not meet our guidelines you can report it to hello@fundit.buzz.
Judith Wood-Archer 27 November 2012 - 09:54

This is such good news and good news for Gateshead residents - well done :)

Citizen Paul 27 November 2012 - 08:15

Well done to all the team - and the Crowd of supporters! Great result adn worth all the work.

Alison Dunn 15 November 2012 - 09:09

Hi Ele, thanks for posting on our project page. Great to know you've got your raffle tickets and are helping us to reach our target of £2,000! Fingers crossed we can make it!

elebrown 10 November 2012 - 15:08

I've got my raffle tickets and I've posted on facebook and emailed all my contacts - hopefully we'll make it!

Alison Dunn 02 October 2012 - 16:47

Hi Paul, thank you for your rallying call! I look forward to sharing this experience and all we are learning with my network colleagues.

Citizen Paul 02 October 2012 - 10:30

Well done, Gateshead, leading the way again! Come on Network, let's get behind them.

Alison Dunn 01 October 2012 - 11:32

Hi Ayeasha, I could not agree with you more! Thank you for your support, it makes a lot. Gateshead is a complicated Borough with large rural areas AND high deprivation. These console's really can make a difference. Keep checking in to see how we're doing. All the best from everyone at Gateshead Advice Centre.

Alison Dunn 01 October 2012 - 11:28

Hi Anna, thank you very much for cheerleading for Gateshead Advice Centre's project, the Advice Stop. Fundraising for advice is always a hard one as it's not fluffy like some charities but it's still really, really important and it does make a huge different to people's lives. We're grateful for your support - keep checking in to see how we're doing!

Ayeasha Lewis 01 October 2012 - 11:20

Great initiative - not only to raise funds and save costs of providing advisors but also to promote self-service...not all individuals are comfortable discussing issues with others and may prefer this approach instead. Good luck with the fundraising!

Anna Horton 28 September 2012 - 11:23

Good luck with the fundraising! Looks like a really valuable project!

What do you think?

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About the organisation

Vision and mission

The Citizens Advice service aims: • To provide the advice people need for the problems they face. • To improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives. The service provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. It values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination.

Geographical coverage

Within local community (including local council)

Our track record

During 2010/11, our national network helped 2.1 million people with 7.1 million problems. In Gateshead 2011/2012 we: • helped 15,658 enquirers with 49,153 issues. • Well over £22 million was achived for Gatsehead through effective and timely advice, leading to financial gains for individuals and reduced costs for agencies. • £11.35 million gained or recovered for Gateshead families. • Our volunteer workforce gave us 22,960 hours of time worth £340,000 • 760 repossessions were avoided or averted

Who do we help?

We provide advice and information to anyone who lives or works in Gateshead. If we can’t help ourselves we know someone who can so we will signpost or refer to the agency with the expertise to make a difference.

How do we deliver this?

You can get help from us by dropping in to see us at our Main Centre, Monday to Friday 9 am to 5pm and until 7pm on a Thursday evening. You can call our Adviceline service on You can email us for help by using advice@gatesheadcab.org.uk You can text us: 07786 206006 You can visit our two remaining outreach venues, Birtley Resource Centre Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon. Blaydon Library Thursday morning.