Warwick district Citizen’s Advice Bureau’s new manager has said that the charity is still aiming to deliver an excellent service despite facing its own challenges.
Aidan Knox, who took over from long-serving manager Hillary Holland at the branch in Leamington in July, has said that despite the affluent area which it serves it still advised and advocated on more than 3,000 debt and benefit issues between April and June this year.
Half of these clients were actually in work but struggling to cope and make ends meet.
Mr Knox, who managed advice services for Essex County Council for ten years, said: “As we now legal aid has stopped now so that puts pressure on our services to be one of the few places that are helping people in those basic areas of life and we are working hard to meet the need.
“With the economic downturn and welfare reforms people have really significant challenges.
“We imagine Warwick district as quite an affluent area yet in my short time here I still see possession orders coming through and people not managing on the money they’re living on.
“The demand is high and we want to deliver an excellent service for the people of Warwick district and that’s our plan.”
Despite the CAB being a charity, Mr Knox said the perception is often that it is a Government-funded organisation.
But with overheads including building rents and having to sustain its large workforce of volunteers the bureau is itself looking for financial assistance.
Mr Knox said: “Local authorities have been a great supporter of ours and continue to be but we know their budgets are under huge challenges and are diminishing so we need to look at how we fund raise in the future climate just to stay in business and there are big questions about how we do that.”
Warwick District CAB’s Annual General Meeting is at Hill Close Gardens in Bread and Meat Close, Warwick, on Tuesday October 15 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.
The guest speaker will be Phil Robinson, chairman of Warwickshire Healthwatch.
To make a contribution to Warwick District CAB text WCAB10 and the amount to 70070.