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Cash boost for Citizens Advice with demand expected to soar

CITIZENS Advice – who provide free, confidential, and impartial advice on everything from money and employment to housing and relationships – have been awarded a grant of £400,000 by Somerset County Council.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Citizens Advice services in Somerset have improved their freephone Adviceline as face-to-face appointments and drop-ins have been scaled back.

And the charities are expecting demand for services to rise exponentially over the next 12 months, particularly as the furlough scheme ends and eviction proceedings recommence.

The grant will be used to develop and sustain a county-wide service, to help close the gap between demand and provision, to extend opening hours, and to increase capacity for the inevitable increase in demand.

Cllr Mandy Chilcott, who proposed the budget amendment at a full meeting of the council on Wednesday, said: “Throughout this pandemic we have worked closely with our partners across the voluntary and community sector to ensure everyone in Somerset has the support they need.

“Citizens Advice do a fantastic job and this grant will enable them to expand provision and provide essential support for our residents.”

Amy Jones, CEO of Citizens Advice Sedgemoor, said: “This is such an exciting development for Citizens Advice services in Somerset, at a time when we have already seen an increase in demand.

“The recognition of the value of our work is a reflection of the efforts that our teams have put in to keep helping people during these unprecedented times. This additional funding means that we can deliver so much more to our clients and communities when we are needed the most.”

For more information visit https://citizensadvicesomerset.org.uk/.

Citizens Advice offer advice by email or you can call Adviceline on 0808 27 87842 between 10am and 4pm from Monday to Friday.

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