Anniversary for advice bureau

PUBLISHED: 11:58 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 14:09 10 May 2010

The mobile CAB unit visited Saffron Walden from 1968 to 1977

The mobile CAB unit visited Saffron Walden from 1968 to 1977

FOR a quarter of a century a charity has been actively helping people in the community to resolve a whole range of different problems. The Uttlesford Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its having a permanent base in Saff

FOR a quarter of a century a charity has been actively helping people in the community to resolve a whole range of different problems.

The Uttlesford Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its having a permanent base in Saffron Walden.

District manager Kate Robson said: "The role of the CAB is now more pertinent than ever and we are helping people in the town to cope with issues such as debt, housing, employment and benefits."

Other issues dealt with by the CAB include relationships, legal matters, consumer rights and immigration.

From humble beginnings, Braintree CAB started a mobile unit in 1968 which toured many local towns and villages. The unit came to Saffron Walden Market Square on Friday mornings until it was retired in 1977 and the service moved to the Saffron Walden Town Library.

In 1983 the newly established Uttlesford CAB opened its doors to the public at 18 Church Street and in April 2000 the service moved to a purpose-built office in Barnard's Yard where it remains today.

Mrs Robson, who was appointed to the position of district manager in September, said: "The service is confidential, free, open to everyone and non-judgemental.

"We operate a drop-in service and we also have case workers who are booked by appointment for more detailed advice and help."

After a small start in 1983 the CAB now has eight part-time paid staff, 22 volunteer advisors, two trainees, seven volunteer administration staff and six home-visit advisors.

In the last financial year, Uttlesford CAB helped clients with 5859 problems and made 4911 calls, e-mails, letters and faxes on behalf of their clients. The budget for this service was approximately £120,000.

"Demand for our help means that we are on a recruitment drive - we need to urgently recruit seven new trainee advisers, six home-visit benefit advisers, a PC technician and a receptionist for service in the Uttlesford area," said Mrs Robson.

The annual meeting of the Uttlesford CAB will take place in Saffron Walden Town Hall at 7.30pm on Monday November 10. Anyone who would like to find out more about the CAB or is interested in becoming a volunteer is welcome to attend.

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