The experience of the Village Citizens Advice Bureau's clients gives us a unique insight into the problems facing lesbian and gay people in the UK. We have a key role in speaking up for clients, raising issues brought into the bureau, contributing to public debate and informing legislation.
The Village Citizens Advice Bureau collects evidence of CAB clients' problems and uses this to campaign for changes in policies and services. We publish evidence reports and briefings and assist Citizens Advice, the national organisation, with the development of polices relating to sexuality and advice needs.
The Village Citizens Advice Bureau (part of Salford Citizens Advice Bureau) if frequently contacted by people who are having problems at work and need specialist support. From our experience it appears that people are not always able to obtain the help they want or the outcomes they desire.
Most of our work is focused on advising people with their individual problem but we cannot be certain just how representative the problems we deal with are. We have therefore constructed a survey to find out what kinds of problems people have and how their ability to obtain specialist advice effects their situation.
We are particularly interested in employment problems that people have dealt with since December 2003 which is when protection from discrimination based on sexuality came into force.
We have been running an online survey based on our report 'Civil Partnerships - One Year On', by which we hope to compare the views of the wider community with the people interviewed in more detail.
We are in the process of analyzing the responses and will publish a report in 2008.
This report documents findings from a research project commissioned by the Village CAB and funded by Citizens Advice, which aimed to explore the advice and information needs of same-sex couples considering civil partnership.