A Day in the Life of Suzanne Wigmore - CEO, Wiltshire Citizens Advice
Early start to be on BBC Radio Wiltshire to talk about Council Tax collection. What are the drivers behind a rise in Council Tax arrears? That’s a complicated issue for that early in the day. Lots more people owing very small amounts. It’s helpful to have a good rapport with the local press, but I might try harder to get our message out on the teatime show! Remember to let the CA press office know, they may want to listen to me, I try not to listen back to myself.
Off to one of our main office to catch up with our new Help to Claim best practice lead. We agree on a few objectives for their first month in the job, not including travelling around our entire patch of Swindon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Find a quiet corner of the office to see how many of our volunteers and staff have completed our People Survey. Using the new tableau report I can see that more already have filled it in that last year, with 2 weeks to go. The results will be fed back to all of our teams and trustees, and we will have an action plan to address the issues raised.
Head out to get some lunch and also post our Money Advice Service Debt contract. Lovely day in Wiltshire, nice to have got out to do some of my 10,000 steps today.
Review the organisation for the spring staff conference. Slides are ready and external speakers have been invited and reminded. More importantly the biscuits have been bought and the lunch has been ordered.
Catch up with the Pensionwise Manager, who is managing our Wessex contract over a massive area. In true football manager fashion, we have been used to working at more than 100% capacity in the team, but now we have more staff the pressure on the guiders is starting to fall slightly. We do his appraisal and talk about how he can do some team building with his dispersed team, most of whom are home based.
Drop in downstairs in our office to see how busy the drop in session has been today. It’s been a quiet one, with some appointments not turning up. It’s still a complete mystery to me what drives how busy a drop in session is. We are consulting with volunteers and supervisors at the conference about how we move to slightly different model to reduce the wait for appointments and make the client journey shorter, and the pressure on supervisors and volunteers more even.
Read the board papers, to remind myself what I wrote a week ago. We helped exactly 13,000 clients in 2018/2019 and also handled more than 4,000 quick queries. I know that 13,000 figure is correct but it feels a bit like a football crowd, and we have guessed and not actually counted! Finances look ok, LSA scores are good, what’s about to go wrong?
Board meeting in the palatial board room of a local business who kindly lend us their premises as part of their CSR commitment. A long day for me but also for a lot of our trustees, some of whom have also done a full day at work, and are now here as volunteers.
130 people have worked together to give advice to around 70 people in Wiltshire today, what a great job to have.
Published Monday 12 August 2019
Part of our #80Voices series celebrating 80 years of the Citizens Advice service through the stories of the people we help and the people that make that happen.