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Caithness CAB helps put £2.3 million back in people's pockets

By Gordon Calder

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VOLUNTEERS at citizens advice offices in Caithness have helped gain over £2.3 million for people in the far north.

In the past 12 months, they have dealt with 2650 clients and nearly 14,000 issues including, debt, housing, employment, health, immigration, welfare and consumer rights, according to local manager Jill Smith. Their efforts resulted in monetary benefits for the public of £2,388,257.

Jill Smith CAB Caithness manager
Jill Smith CAB Caithness manager

Speaking during Volunteers Week, which finishes on Friday, she praised the people who give their time to the organisation. "Volunteers are central to the work of the Citizens' Advice Bureau [CAB] service and we could not function without our skilled and dedicated team," she said. "I am so grateful to all of our volunteers, established and new, for all that they do.

"Locally, in the last year, our volunteers have helped to support almost 2650 individual clients across Caithness with nearly 14,000 issues spread across many advice areas including debt, housing, employment, health, immigration, welfare and consumer rights, achieving a huge £2,388,257 in financial gains.

"Although monetary gains are welcome, they cannot truly reflect the very positive difference our volunteers can make to the lives of our clients, their families, and to society as a whole. Their commitment and dedication ensures that we can continue to deliver our vital service.

"The recruitment, training and retention of sufficient volunteers is always a top priority and we are constantly reaching out to those who are willing to give time to help their community and to make a difference. I would urge anyone who would like to know more about our service or would like to volunteer with us to get in touch."

Across Scotland nearly 2500 volunteers work in citizens' advice offices. The average time given to volunteering each week is six hours.

Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive Derek Mitchell said: "The network helps hundreds of thousands of people each year, advising on a huge range of issues. We’re part of almost every community in Scotland and we put £138 million into the pockets of people last year.

"That simply would not be possible without the exceptional work our dedicated volunteers who give up their time and energy to help people in their communities. The value of that work is £10 million to Citizens Advice Scotland but for many people their advice and support has been simply priceless.

"I want to say thank you to our brilliant volunteers, and encourage people who might be thinking of helping out to get in touch with their local bureau or CAS and we can point you in the right direction."

Derek Mitchell, Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive.
Derek Mitchell, Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive.

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