Healthy Relationships for Teenagers

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Among all the activity arising from the current COVID-19 crisis, young people have been somewhat overlooked. During this period of self-isolation their relationships, as with most people, will be changing. Welsh Women’s Aid have developed a quiz to help young people in their teenage years to see if their relationship is healthy as well as providing information and advice in relation to the following:

  1. Key Ingredients of a Healthy Relationship – Safety, Trust and Respect
  2.  Online Relationships – Consent and Keeping Safe
  3.  Living with Domestic Abuse or in an unhealthy relationship
  4. Coping with past abuse in a period of self-isolation
  5.  Checking Up or Checking In – care or control – information for teenagers who may be perpetrating abuse

For more information and access to the quiz please click here 

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

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CAB Gwynedd are readily available to provide advice and assistance during this difficult time.

Click here and you will see the different options that are available for you to receive advice and assistance from us.

For local information on the services that are available to help you whilst self-isolating, please see Gwynedd Council’s website, which is updated daily. You can click here to go to the relevant page.

There is also a Directory available with information on the volunteers and businesses that are available in your area who can help you, in particular those who can provide food delivery and an essential shopping service.

Citizens Advice manifesto for the next government

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In this general election, Citizens Advice is calling for all political parties to take action on the issues that matter to people’s lives, so that fewer people face the same problems in the future.

The key asks are:

  • Make the benefits system work for everyone
  • Help people recover from debt
  • Provide security for people in their jobs and homes
  • Make sure essential services meet the needs of all consumers
  • Protect consumers in the energy market – now and in the future

Click below to download the document.

Gwynedd Citizens Advice Celebrates Funding Announcement

Am fersiwn Cymraeg cliciwch yma.

Citizens Advice Gwynedd were joined by Welsh Government Deputy Minister, Jane Hutt, to celebrate the charity being awarded funding by the Welsh Government to provide advice services. 

The charity in Wales will receive £8.1 million to provide services across all regions in Wales, as well as a remote advice service. It comes after Welsh Government changed the way they commission advice services in Wales, with organisations having to bid to provide the Single Advice Fund. 

The commitment of future funding comes as the organisation marks its 80th year. Citizens Advice was formed on the onset of World War II on 4 September 1939. It originally helped people deal with the impacts of war, such as rationing and evacuation, and additional support for farming communities. 

In the year to 30 September 2019, Citizens Advice helped nearly 12,500 people in Gwynedd and nearly 100,000 people in Wales with Personal Independence Payment, Universal Credit and council tax debt being some of the top issues the charity provided advice on. 

Tal Michael, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Gwynedd, said: 

“We’re delighted to welcome the Deputy Minister here to Pwllheli to see our services first hand. Access to good advice is vital for everyone. We’re really proud to have secured this funding. 

“There’s a huge demand for our independent and impartial advice as people face ever increasingly complex issues in their lives. 

“We’re keen to now put this funding into action and provide advice to anyone in Gwynedd who needs it, whatever their problem.” 

80 years of advising

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Since 4 September 1939, the day after World War II started, we have been giving people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are and whatever their problem.

You can read ‘Voices of Wales: 80 Years of Advice’  which explores our work across Wales since 1939 here.

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to our service – to find out more about our service in Gwynedd click here or if you would like to contribute click here.

Sad news

Our former chair, Eve Butler, passed away peacefully on Saturday evening at home with her family, after a brave fight with lung cancer. Eve had been associated with Citizens Advice for over 40 years.

Her funeral will be held on Wednesday 11th September 12.30 at Bangor Cathedral and 1.30 at Bangor Crematorium.

Could you be a Trustee?

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Cyngor ar Bopeth Gwynedd Citizens Advice (CAB Gwynedd) is seeking up to three new trustees to join its Board. Citizens Advice aims to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives. Our network consists of almost 300 separate charities across England & Wales working together to this end. As a Trustee of the Gwynedd charity, you will actively contribute to setting policy and strategic direction, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance.

We would particularly welcome candidates who would improve the diversity of the Board.

If you think you could contribute read on to find out more and to get the application form.

Main duties and responsibilities for Trustees

The CAB Gwynedd Board usually meets once per quarter on a Tuesday evening. In addition Trustees attend the Annual General Meeting in the autumn (usually a Friday afternoon) and a Forum meeting in the spring (to build a shared understanding with staff and volunteers). The role is entirely voluntary although expenses will be reimbursed. Staff and volunteers in Bureau cannot serve as Trustees although a staff representative and a volunteer representative attend meetings. There is also an opportunity to participate in meetings of the wider network in Wales and across England & Wales. Training is provided.

Each individual member of the Trustee Board has a responsibility to contribute to the discharging of the board’s duties. They can do this by:

  • maintaining an awareness of the business of the charity
  • taking responsibility for their own learning and development
  • regularly attending, preparing for and taking a full part in meetings
  • actively contributing to setting policy and strategic direction, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance
  • monitoring whether the service complies with its governing document, whether it meets Citizens Advice standards and how well the advice needs of the local community are being met
  • monitoring the financial position of the bureau and ensuring that it operates within its means and objects, and that there are clear lines of accountability for day-to-day financial management
  • supporting the development of the bureau through participation in agreed projects
  • actively seeking to further the strategic objectives of the bureau, and acting in the best interests of the bureau at all times
  • maintaining confidentiality about any sensitive or confidential information received in the course of duties as a trustee.

Personal skills and qualities for Trustees

Each individual member of the trustee board brings skills and qualities to the board. They add to the collective knowledge and experience by providing:

1)  commitment and availability to attend trustee board meetings

2)  effective communication skills and willingness to participate actively in discussion

3)  willingness to gain knowledge of local needs and resources

4)  commitment to the aims, principles and policies of the Citizens Advice service, including those relating to equal opportunities, independence, and research and campaigns

5)  willingness and ability to act in the best interests of the bureau

6)  ability to understand and accept their responsibilities and liabilities as trustees and employers

7)  willingness to participate in democratic process which develops Citizens Advice policies by area and nationally

8)  numeracy to the extent required to understand Citizens Advice accounts with the support of a treasurer

9)   willingness and ability to learn, and to develop and examine their own attitudes

10)   ability to think creatively and strategically, and exercise good, independent judgement

11)   ability to work effectively as a member of a team.

The following would also be beneficial:

12)  financial qualifications or experience

13)  some experience or knowledge of charity finance and fundraising

14)  the skills to analyse proposals and examine their financial consequences

We would particularly welcome candidates who would improve the diversity of the Board.

Successful candidates will serve for three years but may be reappointed.

You will need to confirm that you are not disqualified from being a trustee – the reasons for disqualification are set out in Annex A. If one of the disqualification reasons does apply, you may be able to apply for a waiver from the Charity Commission which will allow you to act as a trustee. 

General information about being a Trustee for a local Citizens Advice

Application Form (PDF)

Application Form (Word)

Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form (PDF)

Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form (Word)

Please return the completed application form and equal opportunities monitoring form to [email protected].

Aims and objectives

The aims of the Citizens Advice service are:

• To ensure that individuals do not suffer through lack of knowledge of their rights and responsibilities, or of the services available to them, or through an inability to express their needs effectively.

And equally:

• To exercise a responsible influence on the development of social policies and services both, locally and nationally.

By providing an advice service, we deal with clients’ problems on an individual, day-to-day basis feeding back information to the bodies responsible for policy making. We endeavour to prevent problems from recurring and similar problems from arising.

We must comply with the association’s conditions of membership, which includes 12 principles. The main principles are:

A free service – We provide information, advice and assistance (including representation) free of charge. It does not withhold its services from any client seeking help because they are believed to be able to pay for help from an alternative source. The service is advertised to the public as being free of charge to ensure that members of the public are not discouraged from taking advantage of the service for fear of incurring expense.

Confidentiality – We provide confidentiality to clients. Nothing learned from clients, including the fact of their visit, will be passed on to anyone outside the service without express permission of the client. Although it is a function of the service to exercise a responsible influence on the development of social policies concerning matters which have been brought to light in the course of assisting clients, no details will be made public which might enable clients to be identified without their express consent.

Independent – The service provided by us is completely independent. The policies and practices of the service are decided solely by the member bureaux. No other individual or agency, even if they are giving financial support or other aid to the bureau, will influence the decision making process of the bureau.

Impartiality – The service provided by us is impartial, it is open to all, and is regardless of any subjective opinion as to whether or not the client is deserving. Our advisers are trained to provide information solely on the basis of its potential usefulness to the client, i.e. information will not be selected to conform to any particular point of view. Representations made on behalf of clients will faithfully attempt to express the client’s personal intentions and points of view.

The other principles are:

• accessibility
• effectiveness
• community accountability
• client’s right to decide
• a voluntary service
• empowerment
• information retrieval
• a generalist service

Beware of Debt Advice Scams!

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Scam callers claiming to be part of Citizens Advice have been offering debt advice by telephone, while requesting personal details and financial information.

Citizens Advice never cold call, and never ask for bank details.

For advice with debt or any other issues, or to report scams, call our Adviceline on 03444 77 20 20

A bilingual poster warning of this scam is available here.

Christmas Shopping Tips

Follow these tips to make your Christmas buying and returning easier.

Making it easier to take gifts back after Christmas

  • When you’re buying a gift, it’s useful to ask the retailer to give you a gift receipt – something in writing which shows it’s a gift. This will make it easier for the person who gets the gift to return or exchange it, rather than you having to take it back. But if you buy something using your credit or debit card you’ll need to take it back yourself if the gift’s returned, for any refund to go on your card.
  • The retailer doesn’t have to take unused goods back by law, but they do for a limited time after the purchase if they have a returns policy. They might also allow returns as a gesture of goodwill. It’s helpful to keep the receipt or online order details to give to the person who’ll be returning the gift.
  • If you buy online just before Christmas, you have a legal right to cancel within a 14-day cooling-off period. This also applies if you buy over the phone or by mail order. Check the terms and conditions before you order to see how long you have to change your mind.

Shopping online

  • If you buy a present online, give yourself plenty of time, just in case there are delivery problems. Read the small print so you know whether the gift can be returned later on if it’s unwanted, and check expected delivery dates.
  • Make sure you buy from a reputable online company and that you buy from a secure site. Check the web address begins with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.

Delivery problems

  • Gifts ordered online, over the phone or by mail order must be delivered within 30 days, unless you agree a different delivery date with the retailer. If a present isn’t delivered on time you can cancel the order or agree another delivery date.
  • If your gift doesn’t arrive or arrives late, you may be able to claim compensation, but you’ll need to read the small print first – if the terms and conditions say that delivery dates are estimated or may vary, you may not be able to.
  • To claim compensation, write a letter of complaint to the retailer and ask them to compensate you. Tell them why you think you should be compensated and provide proof of your losses.
  • If the gift is lost during delivery, the retailer is responsible. If they can’t find your goods, you can ask for a refund or replacement.