Citizens’ Advice has lured a senior member of The Salvation Army press team to fill its head of media role.
Sarah Miller has spent the past seven years with The Salvation Army, recently heading up national campaigns such as the ‘Pass the Parcel Appeal’, run in conjunction with ITV’s This Morning programme.
The ex-senior press officer’s first major task is to tackle the public perception that Citizens’ Advice Bureaux are run by local government and do not require donor funding.
‘Many bureaux are in libraries or local government offices, so people think they are council-funded,’ said Miller. ‘Our research indicates that just over 30 per cent of the public realise we are a charity, and that is something we are trying to change.’
She is also aiming to raise awareness of the charity’s work on social policy, discrimination and employment, and joined as it released its Deeper in Debt report. The report, which was widely reported in the nationals, came after consumer borrowing levels topped the £1 trillion mark. The charity has recorded a 33 per cent increase in debt enquiries by the public over the past three years.
The average debt of the 1.25 million people who came to bureaux for help was more than £13,000. A case-study-based campaign will urge the Government to press ahead with plans for a new low-cost, out-of-court solution: the Debt Relief Order.
Moira Haynes has been in the head of media role for the past 18 months on an interim basis, but a permanent replacement was sought in February after Rebecca Shah decided not to return from maternity leave.