NCAN referral trends: Cost of living crisis having an impact

At the end of May 2022, 24% more referrals had been sent via the NCAN referral system compared to the same period last year. As a point of reference, in 2021, around 6000 referrals were sent via NCAN in total for the year, which means we are already over 50% of last year’s figures before the end of the second quarter.

There’s been a significant increase in referrals between January and May this year (2022) compared to last year (2021)

Nearly 30% of NCAN referrals are about multiple issues. Whereas the prevalent issue among all referrals (over 42%) is around financial capability, whether it’s debt, money matters or welfare benefits. Mental health and social isolation as well as housing come next.

To help people facing financial hardship, several NCAN organisations provide Advice Quality Standard accredited debt advice (Norfolk Community Law Service, Norfolk Citizens Advice, Diss and Thetford Citizens Advice, Shelter, MAP and The Money Advice Hub). Norfolk Citizens Advice have also opened the ‘’Norfolk Warm and Wise’’ service to help people manage their energy bills following the increase in gas and electricity prices as well as fuel.

In a context where advice and support agencies are feeling the pressure of the increasing cost of living on their capacity, it is important that residents know where to ask for help before they get into a crisis situation. This is why NCAN has also opened a helpline to help Norfolk residents find the help they need sooner. Your Norfolk Advice Helpline is available Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and provides guidance around available advice and support agencies in Norfolk. The number is 0333 996 8333.

The next NCAN Strategic Partnership will focus on the cost-of-living crisis, and, in light of the above data, we invite all advice and support organisations in Norfolk to join, to discuss how we can all work better together to help the most vulnerable in Norfolk go through this crisis, and also what we need to achieve this. The date is 10 August 2022 10:00-11:30 on Teams. To join you may click this link. For a calendar invite please email

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