�10,000 protects Citizens Advice Bureau’s vital work

UTTLESFORD Citizens Advice Bureau has been awarded �10,000 to continue its work in the district.

The charity lost its one-off central government grant, which had helped cover costs for the past two years, and was facing a deficit of �10,000.

But thanks to a donation from the Yellow Car Charitable Trust, which supports projects in Saffron Walden, the CAB’s financial position is secure for this year.

However, with an increase in the demand for its services – due to government spending cuts, rising inflation and a weak economy – a permanent solution to rising costs and falling income still needs to be found.

A spokesman for the charity said: “In Uttlesford the financial situation is compounded by our rural location, with its inadequate public transport, fuel poverty and lack of affordable housing.

“Given the grim economic forecasts and the numbers of people we are seeing with housing, debt or benefit problems, the next few years are going to be hard for all.”

A �6,000 grant from the NatWest Community Force Scheme was also applied for in the summer and the charity is waiting to find out whether it has been successful. Winners will be announced at the end of November.

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The advice service is hoping to extend its support to all sectors of the community by piloting a scheme with local GP practices to reach the most vulnerable, and running a youth training scheme to help young people. But this wish to expand is dependent upon securing additional funding.

That is why it has launched a community fundraising appeal asking people to donate a small amount each week.

The charity has said that if 153 of its supporters contributed �1 per week, and if the amount qualified for Gift Aid, it would be able to raise the �10,000 needed to maintain the service.

A website for CAB will also be launched shortly, which will include ways to donate online and will direct people to the best sources of advice.

At the CAB’s annual meeting on Monday it was also announced that chairman David Wolfe has retired after five years.

? Uttlesford CAB has offices in Saffron, Great Dunmow, Thaxted and Stansted Mountfitchet. Contact 0844 477 5986 to make an appointment or find out about opening hours.