Citizen’s Advice Bureau is to extend its services for Hartlepool residents

Joe Michna pictured utside the Park Road citizens advice bureau.
Joe Michna pictured utside the Park Road citizens advice bureau.

A CITIZEN’S Advice Bureau is to extend its services for local residents by adding two extra drop-in sessions each week.

Hartlepool CAB, in Park Road, currently offers six drop-in sessions for residents every week.

Residents can get expert advice on debt, money management and budgeting, employment law, welfare benefits and housing and homelessness at the drop-ins.

Consumer matters, energy advice and taxes can also be discussed.

Currently the busy advice and advocacy agency offers sessions on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.30am-12.30pm and 12.30pm-3pm.

But from Thursday this week, people can also take advantage of the advice on offer at drop-ins every Thursday at the same times.

The move is part of the town CAB’s effort to improve access to its services for residents and to offer people more options in contacting the experts on hand to offer advice.

Bureau bosses have expressed their delight at being able to extend services for the community.

Joe Michna, Hartlepool CAB manager, said: “Our service is in pretty high demand throughout the week and we are seeking to do everything we can to improve both access to our services and the availability of our drop-in sessions.

“From December 5 we are delighted to be able to offer an additional two drop-in sessions when no appointments are needed for a visit to our offices.

“We are listening to what local residents tell us and what they told us was that they wanted to have better access to our services and more options for contacting us.”

Residents attending the drop-in sessions don’t need to book an appointment in advance.

They will have a brief gateway interview which aims to find out what the resident’s problem or issue is and to determine whether the CAB can help.

An appointment is then made for a more in-depth session to offer advice and assistance.

Mr Michna added: “We have been able to extend our hours of availability because of the financial support we have received from the Big Lottery Fund.

“We are greatly appreciative of this support.”

To contact Hartlepool CAB call (01429) 408401.