Salford Citizens Advice

Annual Impact Review – 2022/23:

Over the financial year ending 31 March 2023 we advised a total of 16,881 clients with 65,449 different problems. 

  • Benefits 38% (24,274)
  • Housing 17% (10,810)
  • Universal Credit 12% (7,940)
  • Debt 8% (5,272)

We advised over 2,920 issues to do with charitable support, 358 education, 2,227 employment, 822 financial services, 90 issues related to gender violence and abuse or hate crime, 965 community care and health, 1,823 immigration, 1,517 legal disputes, 1,465 family and relationship, 590 tax, 921 travel, 1,647 utilities, 359 death and bereavement.

Trends in our advice giving indicate continued pressure on housing enquiries (driven in the main by increasing volatility in the private rented sector). There was a marked increase of 18% between quarters 3 and 4; some 3,054 problems compared to a previous quarterly average of 2,585. This level of pressure on the private rented marketplace is likely to translate quickly into increased pressure around homelessness.

Throughout the year the level of charity assistance provided via our referral and support has stayed much higher than normal, with an on average quarter figure of 670 – with a marked spike during the worst of the winter, rising to over 900 that quarter. On a normal day 12 households will need our support to access help from a charity or food bank.

Benefit problems remain on a steady upwards trajectory, as is the case for universal Credit specifically. Within this category there has been a steady pressure on ‘discretionary’ benefits – such as Personal independence Payment, Attendance Allowance and Pension Credit. 

Employment enquires have remained stable over the year at an average of 557 problems a quarter. This has begun to move upwards slowly throughout the year, perhaps showing a gradual tightening of the labour market in Salford.

The number of utility (energy and fuel included) problems has generally doubled over the last two quarters. 

Volunteering remains slightly subdued post pandemic, with the total volunteers each week supporting us in the 50’s – but these would have been in the 60’s before the pandemic. We ran a three-month social media recruitment campaign over November, January, and February, and are beginning to see these numbers improve.

Total website advice use was 139,880 interactions with 1% of advice pages being translated.

Some 2,175 clients were referred directly to us by 29 different organisations using our referral portal.

The National Association of Citizens Advice impact of advice assessment indicates that in the year:

Our total fiscal value to the city was £5,111,521.

Our public value is £36,354,568 (how much better off Salford is because of our work).

The value to the people we help is £23,965,899.

The value to the local authority just by avoiding homelessness is £488,076.

The value of a reduced use of health services was £708,170, and a total gain to the NHS in Salford of £846,042.

The £578,650 in additional Attendance Allowance claimed in the year is indicative of a similar level of saving to the local Care Act costs. 

The gain to local social housing providers was £1,555,181 – largely through avoided evictions.

The gain to central government by keeping people in work was £2,159,996.

There was an actual money gain to our clients of £13,146,231 – representing extra income just for that year.


Tom Togher

May 2023.