Grants means CAB can open longer

PUBLISHED: 14:10 27 February 2009 | UPDATED: 07:11 30 May 2010

Kelly Dorrington is one of the friendly faces offering advice  Picture: NICK THOMPSON

Kelly Dorrington is one of the friendly faces offering advice Picture: NICK THOMPSON

THE Citizens Advice Bureau in Dunmow has received a £24,000 cash boost enabling it to open its doors for longer. Extra staff will also be employed to relieve hard-pushed staff as demand for financial advice increases in the town. A constantly full waiting

THE Citizens Advice Bureau in Dunmow has received a £24,000 cash boost enabling it to open its doors for longer.

Extra staff will also be employed to relieve hard-pushed staff as demand for financial advice increases in the town.

A constantly full waiting room is a common sight in the bureau every Tuesday and Thursday from 10am until 2pm, but bureau manager Kate Robson hopes that will change.

"We will now be opening from 9.30am until 3.30pm on Tuesday and Thursday," she said. "Hopefully it will make it easier for people to come and see us, and seriously reduce waiting times."

Eight more volunteers will be trained over the next six months to help with the increase in people needing advice.

Staff members say that there has been a noticeable rise in the amount of people needing financial help and advice on issues ranging from mortgages to business rates.

The cash has come from a government grant worth £10million that has been rolled out to 340 CAB's across the UK.

Mrs Robson said: "It is great news for us because we can now provide a really improved service and help answer the questions that people need answering, as well as give the advice that they need."

At the latest fundraising event nearly 100 people braved bad weather to attend a bridge master class at Foakes Hall, Dunmow, presented by The Times' bridge columnist Andrew Robson.

The event raised about £1500 in aid of the bureaus in Dunmow and Saffron Walden and will assists a yearly budget of £140,000, including employment of eight part time paid staff and 32 trained and trainee volunteer advisors.

Mrs Robson added: "We are funded through grants, the largest being received from Uttlesford District Council, Essex County Council and donations from bodies such as parish councils, companies and individuals, plus fund raising activities.

"The current economic climate is putting pressure on the bureau from all directions. On one hand the number of clients seeking advice on subjects such as debt is increasing on the other hand there is a squeeze on funding needed to support its current, let alone extended, activity."

The Dunmow bureau is located on the High Street on the first floor of the Uttlesford District Council offices.

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