Citizens Advice Gateshead Gateshead Citizens Advice has been helping Gateshead people to solve their problems since 1957. Our service provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. Our dedicated staff and volunteers offer advice across a range of key areas aiming to bring about positive changes in people’s lives. Our open door ‘drop-in’ service, where anyone living or working in Gateshead can get tailored face-to-face advice from a trained adviser, is what makes Gateshead Citizens Advice distinctive and unique. Our advice solves problems and changes lives. By offering advice and education across key areas such as benefits, debt, housing, and employment, we aim to bring about positive changes in people’s lives. This ranges from advice outcomes, such as maximising household income and improving health and wellbeing, through to softer benefits, such as improved family relationships. We help clients deal with pressing issues, and help equip them with the necessary skills and abilities for the future. In addition to resolving the problems faced by clients who seek help, we aim to ensure that the underlying policies that have caused these problems are highlighted and addressed. Our Campaigns and Research team collects evidence on the issues experienced by clients. This evidence is used by the national Citizens Advice service in its national work as well as developing evidence-based local campaigns into the key issues faced by people in Gateshead. Where we can’t solve problems we use our insight and evidence from the front line to research the systemic problems and barriers that hold people back. We influence politicians, policy makers, regulators and companies to change rules and regulations for the benefit of everyone. From the cap on the cost of payday loans to regulations preventing retaliatory evictions, our reach is wider than the clients we see.