Citizens Advice West Suffolk (CAWS) has relocated the Brandon office into the Town Hall. The support of the Council in providing use of part of the Town Hall premises free of charge has enabled CAWS to reallocate the funds that would otherwise have been spent on commercial rent, to enhance the services it is able to offer clients in West Suffolk.
Carol Eagles, CEO of CAWS, explains:
“Unsurprisingly in the current economic climate, we have seen a 21% increase in demand for our help and support. There has been a surge in people asking for help in identifying and claiming any benefits for which they are eligible. In many cases, these people are either retired or working and, in the past, have felt able to manage without state support but whose living costs now exceed the money available to pay them.
We are continually recruiting and training new volunteers to help support the paid advisers to deliver the service as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. As a local charity, CAWS is always looking for ways to provide the best possible service on a tightly controlled budget and the Council’s support in allowing us use of the Town Hall on Tuesdays and Thursdays is much appreciated. We are now offering our Reception service from 10am to noon on a Tuesday and pre-arranging appointments for clients at other times.”
Mary Porch, Chair of the CAWS Trustee Board, adds:
“This is an excellent example of the way organisations in different sectors can collaborate to help their communities at a difficult time and the continued support we receive from all the Councils in our region is key to CAWS’ ongoing successful service delivery. We are also immensely grateful to people who are coming forward to volunteer their time to become trained advisers and are happy to continue to hear from anyone who has a day per week or more to spare to take on a very rewarding voluntary role as an adviser.