Salford Citizens Advice 

Quarter two partners’ Briefing:

Client summary:

The summary of the quarter two reporting remains all very positive, with a continued steady rise upwards indicating a progressive return to more normal working.

We saw 4,579 clients (a 7% increase on the last quarter), and a half year total of 8,852 clients which is on target to meeting our contract requirements. These clients had some 15,698 different issues, a 3% increase from the last quarter. Significant increases in education (up 144% – a sustained rise in educational enquiries), gender related violence and hate crime (up 55%), travel (28%), financial services (28%) and benefits (15%).

We think these trends reflected the general ongoing enquiry pressures associated with the pandemic’s end. The gender violence and hate crime spikes may reflect a worsening economic environment.

The increased income gained figures of £2.2 million (up some 8% on last quarter) reflects a steady return to more normal working of the benefits system, but is still below pre-pandemic levels.

The still relatively new online referral portal continues to grow well, with a 17% increase in referrals in the quarter at some 260 clients from twenty-one different agencies. 

Website hits continue to their steady upwards trend, with a 6% increase for this quarter, to 34,877 hits.

Following the recent re-adjustment of local authority wards, the new Pendleton & Charlestown ward remains our most prominent ward, (11% of clients) with Broughton and Weaste joint seconds (9% of clients).

Our client age profile, which up to the age bracket sixty-five, is very evenly distributed; and 53% of our clients are women. Those clients that identify as having a disability or a long-term condition (8.5% & 33.8%) is 42.3%. Black and minority ethnic clients represent 17.7% of our clients.

All our quality of advice and client care indicators remain green.

Referral Portal:

The client flow through our online referral portal – which is now nearly thirty organisations have signed up to use, continued to grow over the last quarter – with now something over 6% of our clients now coming through this service. Please do let me know if you would like to sign up to this quick and easy way to refer people to us.

City Bureau’s lease renewal:

We were pleased to be able to conclude discussion with our City Bureau’s landlords (Salford Precinct) around an extension to our lease. Some drop on services in Pendleton have moved to Pendleton Gateway – with our office in Salford Precinct being used for covid secure face to face pre-booked appointments. 

Domestic abuse service:

We are delighted to be able to announce the renewal funding for our domestic abuse advice specialist service. This has been refunded for a further three years, and this amazing support for our work means that we will be able to maintain this provision without any interruption to the service. Clients can access the service through our phone service, the emergency domestic abuse ‘safe space’ on our website, or through any or our drop-in services. Partner agencies are very welcome to refer clients by using our referral portal or the Refernet service.

Healthy Start Take-up Campaign:

We formally launched the Salford Healthy Start Take-up campaign – in partnership with Salford Food Share Network, in September. Initial priorities agreed were to focus on the digital switch over of the scheme and how this will impact on certain of our less digitally connected communities, along with the need to make sure that more families that were previously excluded from the scheme because they ‘had no recourse to public funds’ make claims because of the recent Supreme Court ruling. If you would like to be involved in this campaign, please just let me know.

Money Advice Service Re-tendering:

The Money and Pensions is re-tendering money advice services. It is currently the largest funder of debt advice in Salford. There is likely, what ever the outcome of the tendering exercise, to be less face to face debt provision available for Salford people following this tendering.


Tom Togher,

November 2021.