Citizens Advice facing cutbacks

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AN ARMY of volunteers who help those struggling with debt and other problems may have to make cuts to their service because of a lack of cash.

Citizens Advice 1066, based in Cornwallis Terrace, said a drop in funding from the council due to recent cutbacks brought on by the economic downturn means it cannot help as many people as it wants to.

It is now appealing to the local business community and the public at large for financial help.

Dina Christodoulou, chief executive of Citizens Advice 1066, said: “Even though we are very grateful to the council for its support to us down the years, it has had to reduce its grant to us by five per cent. This means we will only get £90,000 from next month.

“Over the last 10 months alone we have also lost around £150,000 which was used to fund various projects that dealt with different sorts of clients.

“Because of this we may have to reduce the number of clients we normally see by 25 per cent but there is an increasing need for our services as more people are losing their jobs. During the year we see thousands of people needing help.”

Citizens Advice 1066, together with Hastings Advice and Representation Centre (HARC) and the Brighton Housing Trust, also get funding from the Legal Services Commission and has done so for the last 11 years.

But the Coalition Government plans to reduce the funding it gives to that sort of work, Mrs Christodoulou said.

She added: “We are also desperately looking for new volunteers. We currently have 10 full-time paid staff and 30 volunteers but we need about 100 in total.

“We had to make some paid staff redundant last year and now need volunteers to undertake the work done previously by those staff.

“It costs around £1,000 to fully train up a volunteer so we need people and businesses to help us.”

If anyone can help they can ring 01424 433493 or 721386 or email dina@citizensadvice1066.co.uk.