Hartlepool debt advice team is praised in review

From left Janet Noble, Julie Lloyd-Noble, Jill Hutton and Ann Brown with centre manager Joe Michna.
From left Janet Noble, Julie Lloyd-Noble, Jill Hutton and Ann Brown with centre manager Joe Michna.

Advice provided by a Hartlepool organisation to help people struggling with debt scored very highly in an official audit.

Citizens Advice Hartlepool’s debt advice service received an assessment of 95% in a recent peer review.

The service, in Park Road, is provided by four debt advice workers who have racked up an impressive 43 years’ worth of experience between them.

Joe Michna, manager of Citizens Advice Hartlepool, said: “This was our first experience of the new Peer Review scheme and we were naturally apprehensive about the outcome.

“To have an external organisation assessing our quality of advice to clients is quite obviously a challenge.

“Given the combined experience and professionalism of our Debt Advice Team, we were reasonably confident of a good outcome.

“But to obtain a 95% positive assessment was an excellent outcome both for the Debt Advice Team and the organisation as a whole.”

The advice team who provide the service comprise Janet Noble, Ann Brown, Jill Hutton and Julie Lloyd-Noble and cover numerous types of personal and business-related debt.

Funding for the service, which helps numerous residents to manage their debts better, comes from the independent Money Advice Service.

To make sure clients are given the best service possible, the Money Advice operates a Quality Framework backed up by an independent Peer Review Scheme.

Citizens Advice Hartlepool had its first peer review under the arrangements in January.

Mr Michna said: “This outcome, combined with the recent success of three of our Debt Advice team members in gaining the nationally recognised Certificate in Money Advice Practice issued by Staffordshire University should give some indication of the very high standard of advice provided by the team.

“We are appreciative of the financial support provided to us by the Money Advice Service and it is because of this support that we are able to provide such a professional service.”