Bristow & Sutor donates PPE to Citizens Advice Bureau
Citizens Advice in Birmingham received several boxes of PPE this week, donated by Bristow & Sutor, one of the UK’s leading players specialising in debt recovery, based in Washford, Redditch.
This PPE donation was made as part of ongoing support to Birmingham City Council, whom Bristow & Sutor have successfully worked with for over 12 years. In that time, Bristow & Sutor has developed and enhanced services including the introduction of webchat for debtors, increasing outbound calls, implementing text reminders for cases in payment arrangements, implementing more payment methods and prioritising the most successful contact methods.
From 2019 to 2020, Citizens Advice Birmingham delivered 1265 outreach sessions in hospitals, libraries, job centres, HMP Birmingham, Birmingham Magistrates’ Court and mental health venues across Birmingham. 50 volunteers and 57 paid staff helped to assist 28,924 clients during this time. It is hoped the boxes of masks, hand gel, wipes and gloves provided by Bristow & Sutor will help ensure this important work can continue safely for anyone that needs support this year and beyond.
Every Bristow & Sutor enforcement agent, formerly known as bailiffs, now possess equipment such as masks, hand sanitisers, antibacterial wipes, disinfectant sprays and gloves as standard. All members of staff have been trained on the use of PPE and must pass an industry approved course before being allowed to conduct visits. They are not permitted to enter properties currently, so any resolution found is done so in a socially distanced manner from the doorstep.
On receiving the donation of PPE, Kelly Danks, Debt Service Manager, Citizens Advice Birmingham, said, “We were delighted to receive this donation as it will allow us to speak face to face with more local people about their circumstances. This is important for vulnerable members of the Birmingham community, especially when you consider more people may be facing vulnerable circumstances currently. Thank you to Bristow & Sutor for their generosity and support.”
Bristow & Sutor employees are directly employed and are not paid based on the performance of one visit, their goal remains to help find the best solution and not focus purely on achieving immediate revenue. Before resuming visits, Bristow & Sutor supplied reconnection letters to debtors, giving them the opportunity to set up flexible payment arrangements and discuss changing circumstances. Emma Watson, Head of External Communications at Bristow & Sutor, says,
“We understand better than anyone the importance of communicating with those in debt and the positive outcomes those conversations can lead to. Our business has strong roots in the local community and as part of our support to Birmingham City Council, we wanted to do something to help ensure access to impartial advice is not restricted for anyone at this difficult time. Citizens Advice Birmingham have been very grateful for the PPE donation and we are currently looking into the possibility of making further donations to other local institutions within the region.”
Bristow & Sutor has over 42 years’ experience in the collection of local council tax, non-domestic rates and unpaid Penalty Charge Notices. The company prides itself on delivering an ethical, compliant and high-quality service to the public and private sectors. Agents regularly assist debtors with completing questionnaires, setting up payment arrangements and directing them towards support and advice where appropriate. They are trained to the highest standard and use modern technology and data to achieve market-leading performance, whilst protecting the most vulnerable in society and the reputations of clients.