Bridport and District Citizens Advice is an independent charity. We have our own Trustees and management team. We are fully independent, self-governing, and self-funding. However, we are also part of the Citizens Advice national network. We provide confidential, impartial, and independent advice to anyone living in the Bridport and District area.
We provide free, confidential, independent advice on a wide range of topics including Benefits, debt, housing, employment, relationship breakdown and family issues, consumer immigration, health, and court issues.
Our work meets the Advice Quality Standard for General Help and Welfare Benefits casework. The Advice Quality Standard is the quality mark for organisations that provide advice to the public on social welfare issues.
Chief Officer: Rovarn Wickremasinghe; Advice Services Manager: Martin Wood
We also employ an administrator, a specialist benefits adviser and various project workers
Tony Rogers (Chair), Colin McReavie (Treasurer), Richard Jones (Company Secretary), Sylvia Barker, Steve Godfrey, Sue McLaney, Graham Smith
Most of our advice services are delivered by our team of 70 hardworking and dedicated volunteers. Our volunteer advisers are trained to the highest standard and they all receive ongoing learning and support to ensure their knowledge remains up to date. They are impartial, and non-judgemental in their approach and can advise on a wide range of topics and you can rely on them keeping your problem completely confidential within our service.
We are always grateful to our volunteers but when lockdown restrictions were introduced in March 2020 because of Covid-19, almost everyone adjusted their way of working and took on new challenges by delivering the service remotely by telephone, email and webchat. Our service was only out of action for a short time while we organised our remote working systems. This means that although the office door is closed for the time being, the access to expert advice remains fully open.
We are an independent charity dependent on grants and donations received from several sources.
We are pleased to receive financial support from various sources including Dorset Council and our local Town and Parish councils. We are grateful for donations from businesses and charitable trusts which help us continue our work. The donations we receive from members of the public also help us and we thank all those who are able support us in whatever way.
We are grateful to everyone who supports us financially. If you would like to make a secure donation to help our work, click the Donate button on our home page.
Contact us for advice
If you need more help and to speak to one of our team in confidence, telephone our Adviceline on freephone number 0800 144 8848. Our telephone service is open between 10am and 4pm each day.
You can also contact us using our secure contact form, click here. Please give us as much information on the form as you can. We aim for someone to be in touch within two working days. Our service is completely confidential and non-judgemental.
What we have achieved
Last year we helped 2340 people with around 7000 different problems. Many people had money problems and we helped them maximise their income and get the right benefits. In total our advisers raised nearly 1 million in extra income for our clients and over £100,000 of debt written off.
Many people we help tell us they have health issues or a disabilty. Last year 46% of the people we helped reported a long-term health problem or disability.
Jenny (not her real name) came to see us because she was worried about claiming Personal Independence Payment. It was a complicated form but our adviser helped Jenny and also ensured that she was claiming all the benefits she was entitled to. Jenny said it was a huge relief to be able to find help to complete the form which she would not have managed to complete on her own.
Martin a 79 year man came to us because his home was too big for his needs and for him to manage. He wanted to find out if he could be re-housed in an older people’s housing scheme. Our adviser talked him though his options had helped Martin work with the council to find accommodation for over 55s. Martin is now able to be confident about his future and ability to live independently.
Many people have more complex problems. We help by listening, seeking solutions, giving advice and as much support as is needed. Our aim is to give confidential and non-judgemental advice to help improve people’s lives. There are some problems we can’t help with. In those situations, we will always try to guide people towards a different service who can help.
Click here for information on volunteering.
We are a completely independent charity. We rely on funds and gifts from various sources to ensure that our service continues. If you would like to help us to continue to deliver excellent advice to our local people, please consider a financial gift, please click the donate button on the home page here to make a secure donation through our Charities Aid Foundation bank account. You may also wish to give a regular amount to support our work. You can do this too using the link. Don’t forget if you are a UK taxpayer, that using Gift Aid, helps us further by increasing your donation. A £20 donation becomes £25 to us if you use Gift Aid.
Thank you for your support.
Spread the word
Thank you for reading our website pages and taking time to learn a little about who we are and how we help our local community. Please tell your friends and neighbours about us. Let them know what kind of help we offer to those in need and how we help people solve problems. Share what you have learned about how we are funded and let people know that we also rely on our local community to help provide our services. It’s a two-way thing.
If you run a community group and would like someone to join your meeting to talk about the work of Bridport and District Citizens Advice, please get in touch. When safe to do so we would willingly come to local group meetings but in the meantime, we are getting incredibly good at Zoom.