As a local charity Citizens Advice Gateshead relies on donations to deliver many of its services; services that help real people with real problems to find real solutions.
Jayne Graham MBE (pictured left), the charity's Commercial Director, explains that the funding they raise is fundamental to being able to deliver these services.
"It's very often assumed that the charity is part of a national concern. The Citizens Advice brand is well known nationally, and has become synonymous with quality, impartial advice and information over many years, however the charity's membership of the network does not bring with it funding to deliver local services; each charity is independent and sustains itself in different ways, through a combination of grants, donations and contracts."
The work of the charity spans the full range of social welfare issues and the need and demand for help increases every week. We help families with everything from coping with the impact of cancer on their family's welfare, through to maintaining their home when the bills have mounted up and there is nowhere left to turn. So this Christmas we are putting a spotlight on some of the many social causes we support through our unique Twelve Causes at Christmas Advent Calendar.
The staff and volunteers at the charity behind each window of The Davidson Building, the charity's local advice hub in Gateshead centre, explain a little about how we contribute towards each of the twelve causes through our work. Chief Executive Alison Dunn, the face behind the 'Families' cause on the Advent Calendar, said
"Everyone who works here is so passionate about delivering our vision of a fair society for all, with lives well lived. We thought the Twelve Causes at Christmas Advent Calendar would give us the opportunity to raise the profile of the wonderful contribution our staff and volunteers deliver every day, and help people to realise that we are one of the charities that need the help of businesses and the public this Christmas".
The Twelve Causes at Christmas campaign provides various options for people to donate towards the charity's fundraising target of £3,500. Local employers are being encouraged to sponsor one of the 24 windows on the advent calendar, which will display their logo and provide a tailored message which will be conveyed on their behalf through social media. The charity is also providing the option to purchase an e-card instead of buying Christmas cards, with the money they save being donated to the charity's funds. Any other donations will also be welcome.
Jayne Graham explained that the charity has a really firm commitment to making every pound count. "We are proud that at least 84 pence in every pound we raise is directly channelled into the delivery of front-line services, which is quite a lot higher than the average for charities of our size. But we're not complacent - our aim over the next 2 years is to increase that efficiency even further. Our priority is always to help even more real people with real problems to find real solutions, so they can go on to have a life well lived. So we can assure all of our donors that any money raised through our Twelve Causes at Christmas campaign will be well spent".
CLICK HERE to view the Twelve Causes at Christmas Advent Calendar and make your donation.