Sound Advice There are many different sides to our charity over in here in Gateshead. People come to us with all sorts of issues. You may have money, benefit, housing or employment problems. You may be facing a crisis, or just considering your options. Our goal is to help everyone find a way forward, whatever problem they face. Welcome to our newsletter blog which helps keep you up to date the many ways we give sound advice. We are so proud of everyone who works or volunteers for us and this is our way of publically saying thanks to everyone who supports us whether you share a Facebook post, leave a pound donation in one of our tin or volunteer your time - it's true what they say every little helps. Dementia Café Since our partner organisation Gateshead Enterprises started their Dementia Café in January this year, it has been a huge success and is ever expanding. Their café is perfect for those affected by Dementia to have a space they to come and relax in, allowing them to take a break from the daily stresses that can come with caring or living with Dementia. Gateshead Enterprises host this calming café, offering refreshments, live music and activities suitable for all and guaranteed to make you crack a smile. Gateshead Enterprises are fortunate enough to have partnered up with another community, The HUB Family Church Gateshead. Here they are able to offer guests a café area in addition to the main room for activities complete with all mod coms, speakers, a stage etc. They also have additional partnerships with the local school, Brighton Avenue Primary School, who occasionally attend and join in the activities, as well as LUSH Gateshead who have generously donate their time and products by offering hand massages to guests. Everyone that participates in the café contributes towards creating a lovely, welcoming, grassroots, community space - THANK YOU. We're always looking for people to help: If you'd like to get involved in any capacity please get in touch! If you have a talent or a skill you'd like to share with our guests come on down. Or if you'd just like to come and say hello you're always welcome. Contact details include: Lisa Douglas - [email protected] or Alanna Wilson - [email protected] Friends of Citizens Advice Our 'Friends of Citizens Advice' roles have been set up to broaden the opportunities we offer our volunteers. Accommodating flexible schedules and event-based activities we've made volunteering more accessible for those who wish to help and support us. There are three available roles: Digital Marketing Friends will help our Fundraising Team promote Citizens Advice Gateshead through our digital channels. Community Friends will support our Fundraising Team, increasing income and awareness by helping with local events - this includes our Dementia café. Digital Shop Friends will be responsible for assisting with Citizens Advice Gateshead's online eBay site, which has been set up to raise funds to support the Drop-in Advice service in Gateshead. As a volunteer of Citizens Advice Gateshead, you will be supported and guided in every role, whilst gaining valuable skills and experience in the charity sector, all whilst having chance to meet people from a wide range of backgrounds. Find out more here: https://www.citizensadvicegateshead.org.uk/whatcanido Big Energy Savings Week Our Campaigns and Research got off to a bang this year with their Big Energy Savings Week campaign! From the 22nd to the 28th of January we took part in a national campaign to help people cut their fuel bills and get all of the financial support they are entitled too. It was run by Citizens Advice, Energy Savings Trust and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. We were proud to be recognised as Gold partners due to our efforts in raising public awareness about the energy industry. Some of the key areas we tackled included: switching energy supplier/tariff to get the best deal, accessing energy discounts and making homes energy efficient. We organised events across the borough throughout the week, visiting many places, such as: Gateshead Civic Centre, Gateshead Library, Birtley Hub, Blaydon Library and our own Davidson Building. Each event was well received and we managed to help 88 people during the week with our energy advice. A message from one of our hosts, Birtley Hub, reads: "thank you for choosing us Fran. Following on from it, we had a woman come in to ask for help in changing her supplier. We helped her by using the info we had got from yourselves, so it was very useful." Praise for our staff This lovely comment was left by a client on our Facebook wall for our Debt Team's Josh "Joshua Veale is fantastic sorted out my debt problem. Very professional and friendly. If you have debt always seek advice from CAB don't be embarrassed to go."