The UK’s first Citizens Advice Snapchat student outreach programme is now up and running in the city, alongside a new mobile app which was officially launched on Wednesday
Citizens Advice Liverpool (CAL) has received £25,000 funding from the Martin Lewis Fund to help pioneer new technology to reach out to the city’s vulnerable students.
The UK’s first Citizens Advice Snapchat student outreach programme is now up and running in the city, alongside a new mobile app which has now been officially launched.
Snapchat is the increasingly popular social messaging network and has seen a surge in millennial usage – with more than a quarter of UK students using the platform.
The Liverpool advisory charity is using this latest social media technology to help offer students advice across a variety of areas, including budgeting, housing, consumer issues and employment tips.
Following the Merseyside trial, learnings will be shared to throughout the Citizens Advice network to launch similar projects.
From its roots as a walk-in advice bureau, the organisation has responded to the evolution of communication channels and now also offers advice through free text messaging, WhatsApp, a new mobile app along with a debt advice telephone line.
In addition to a new mobile app and the Snapchat trial, the Martin Lewis Fund has also enabled CAL to employ two paid social media assistants.
The new staff members help to communicate across all social media platforms, and specifically for the Snapchat trial the sharing of up to three advisory stories per week and snapping live from CAL events.
Martin Lewis, founder of the Money Saving Expert, said: “Few realise Citizens Advice, which is at the bedrock of society, is a charity not a government agency – a shame as the work it does is truly lifesaving.
“I’ve met many people who were suicidal over legal or money life challenges they couldn’t cope with, yet a visit to their local Citizens Advice helped them on the path to dealing with it.
“As a huge fan of the organisation, I wanted to do something to help it pioneer new ways to reach out and improve people’s lives.”
Chief Officer at CAL, Heather Brent, added: “We understand that the world around us is ever changing and that charities today must stay in-tuned with the digital landscape, in order to continue offering their services.”