Citizens Advice Allerdale, which offers free advice on a wide range of social and financial issues, has secured £10,000 from the Coalfields Community Investment Programme, delivered by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.
Forming part of the Citizens Advice network across England and Wales, the organisation helps over 3,000 clients each year. As well as drop in sessions for residents in Workington, outreach initiatives are also provided to engage with the wider community.
The funds will be used to recruit and train a new cohort of volunteers to provide greater resource as demand continues to increase for the interventions offered.
An existing Training Supervisor will support those that come forward to offer their time, with a focus placed on skills that will allow them to deliver core advice services that can be accessed through Citizens Advice Allerdale.
The nationally recognised training plan provides all volunteers with self-study packs; online modules; observations and off-site training days. The roles available to the latest cohort include giving advice face-to-face; support over the telephone; campaigning and research; as well as administration, reception and trustee duties.
Funding Officer, Lyndsay Carver, comments: “The people of Allerdale rely on our services and come to us with a wide range of challenges that can cover anything from employment to housing and healthcare or advice around pensions and debt.
“In order to fulfil our obligations to these communities, we need a dedicated team that are fully trained and can deliver professional advice. It is essential that we find robust problem solvers that can join our supportive network.
“With this funding we can expand our resource and continue working with a Training Supervisor to ensure that each recruit has the necessary skills to help to positively impact the lives of our community members.”
Development Manager for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Lynn Utting, comments: “The sheer volume of queries received by Citizens Advice Allerdale demonstrates how valuable their services are to the local residents. Without organisations like this, these people wouldn’t know where to turn and would be left helpless.”
“Redirecting funds to expand the network of volunteers at Citizens Advice Allerdale was an easy decision for us to make, but we know more has to be done. As a result, we are calling on the government to create a dedicated Coalfields Investment Fund so we can scale up our support and have a lasting impact for future generations to come.”