Hartlepool Citizens’ Advice Service needs more people to help with services

Janet Noble

Janet Noble

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A BUSY advice service that offers people free help with a host of problems is appealing for more volunteers.

Hartlepool Citizens’ Advice Service says it needs more people to help them provide their services.

The call comes after a number of volunteers have left the service after securing jobs elsewhere.

And it comes just a day after bureau boss Joe Michna told the Mail there is a three-week wait for debt help appointments.

Janet Noble, recruitment and training officer, said: “To provide our services to the community we rely heavily on having a team of trained volunteers.

“We have recently lost a number of volunteers who have found paid employment, which is good for them, but it means we have lost valued and trained workers.

“We provide a full and comprehensive induction and training programme for all new volunteers, and once through their initial training, volunteers have access to support and provision at all times.

“While the work is challenging and at times demanding, it is also rewarding and very varied.”

The citizens’ advice bureau helps people on a range of issues from debt and welfare benefits to housing and homelessness.

Other problems they help with are consumer issues, taxes, employment disputes and discrimination.

The service says people volunteer for all sorts of reasons and they all find it challenging and rewarding.

And manager Joe Michna said volunteers help make a difference to people’s lives and are helping their local community.

He added it is also an opportunity for people to try something new, it increases their confidence and a chance to meet new people.

The short term future of the service in Park Road was secure in July thanks to a £160,000 boost from the Big Lottery Fund.

The service had suffered financial problems over the last 18 months after local authority funding was withdrawn.

To arrange an informal meeting contact Janet by calling into 87 Park Road.

You can also email tutor@hartlepool.cabnet.org.uk or call (01429) 408417.