Our Cardiff team wins award for work with vulnerable people
25 November, 2016
Our Advocacy Team has been recognised with a prestigious national award for its work in supporting vulnerable people to deal with debt problems. The team picked up the ‘Vulnerable Customer Support Initiative – Non-creditor’ award at last night’s 2016 Collections & Customer Service Awards.
The Advocacy Team has 21 specialist advisors and provides an enhanced service for vulnerable clients, which can include those with mental health issues, people with a cancer diagnosis or anyone struggling with debt who needs additional time, attention and support or services. This year, the team has already helped over 6,000 people to tackle their financial problems.
Its advisors receive constant training to provide the highest level of care, with support from organisations such as Macmillan, Age UK, Dementia Friends, Mind, Samaritans & the Illegal Money Lending Unit. The team also meets with lenders to discuss the work it does to help improve how vulnerable people are treated and ensure they get the additional support they need.
Paul Hillberg, Advice and Advocacy Service Manager at StepChange Debt Charity in Cardiff, said:
“We’re delighted to win this award and the whole team deserves recognition for their ongoing hard work and dedication. When vulnerable people find themselves in debt, it is crucial that they have somewhere to turn for the help they need and this is exactly the kind of service we strive to provide.”
Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive at StepChange Debt Charity, said:
“Debt can have serious effects on anybody’s life, but for people who are particularly vulnerable, be it because of ill health or other reasons, these effects can be devastating. People in these circumstances, and that could be any of us, deserve special support and I am proud and delighted that the StepChange Debt Charity team in Cardiff have been recognised for the excellence of what they do and the difference it makes to people’s lives.”
Notes to editors
1. The Credit Collections & Customer Service Awards are organised by Credit Strategy. The event was held on 24th November 2016 and is in its 10th year.
2. Over half a million people contact StepChange Debt Charity for help with debt problems every year. The charity operates across the UK, but its Debt Advocacy Team is based in Cardiff.
3. Our research shows that 47% of our clients have visited a GP as a result of physical or mental health problems and we estimate the cost of debt and mental health to society to be £960m.