Lynn Crawford, who has been a member of the Citizens Advice Gateshead team since 2006, is one of a team of Money Advice Caseworkers who deliver the Money Advice Service from The Davidson Building in Gateshead town centre, the central hub for anyone who lives or works in Gateshead to access free, independent, confidential and impartial advice. 

Lynn was shocked to discover recently that she had been shortlisted for 'Money Advisor of the Year' in the 2018 IMA Money Advice Awards after being nominated by her Supervisor, Tom Bowman. The Awards are designed to recognise excellence and innovation in the field of money advice, and are open to individuals, teams, projects and organisations working at a national, regional, or local level, anywhere in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, so being shortlisted was a huge accolade and also a real surprise! 

Teamwork enables us to make a difference to our clients  

Lynn explained "It was a great shock when I found out I had been shortlisted for the award. Although this is an individual award, my job is not possible without the assistance of my team, and without my supervisor who took the time to write about me so well that I won!"

Since 2012 Citizens Advice Gateshead has been delivering the 'Money Advice Service' through the national Citizens Advice network. The service in Gateshead is delivered by a dedicated team which has made a real difference to thousands of people facing financial difficulties. Lynn firmly believes that the foundations for getting the best outcomes for the people who live and work in Gateshead is undoubtedly teamwork. 

"Many of our clients are referred to us through our wonderful generalist advisors and local telephone advice line, services delivered by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers at Citizens Advice Gateshead. They are supporting thousands of people a year to find their way through such a wide range of challenges, only one of which is debt. Let's also not forget the managers here at Citizens Advice Gateshead who run our well-oiled machine, and work tirelessly to secure funding for the charity. People often forget we're a charity, but that's a really important factor in our success. We are here purely to help the people of Gateshead." 

Lynn Crawford Award Winner 

At the Institute of Money Advisers Conference held in Manchester on 21 and 22nd of May Lynn was ultimately awarded the winners' trophy and named 'Money Advisor of the Year', an award sponsored by Computershare. Lynn humbly accepted the award herself and the team at Citizens Advice Gateshead, and stressed that doing her job was really enough of a reward in itself.  

"It is nice to be appreciated but I don't do my job for applause or appreciation - I do it because I love it. I am happy to get on with my job and work tirelessly for the people of Gateshead in the hope that I myself, the team and the charity as a whole, do something to improve their lives. That can be through just having someone impartial to talk to and be a listening ear, or receiving practical advice about how to get out of debt. 
Let's face it, to find funds to help our office keep running I even had all my hair shaved off, so my passion for what we do is evident from the outside, even if you can't see it on the inside!"