CAB adds to services
Count Me In project introduced
Napier Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is not only sporting new offices, but has also added a couple of new services to their repertoire.
Count Me In is a shout out to Napier businesses, says manager Jenny Pearce.
“It’s about working together to keep our people happy, healthy and able to add value to our community.”
Jenny says the Count Me In project was initiated because CAB receives many requests for help from the local community. Customers and employees of local businesses can find themselves faced with distressing issues that adversely affect their personal and working life, including problems such as marital breakups and care of children, financial hardship, tenancy or consumer issues.
“Often we would get a phone call from someone calling in their lunch break for some advice, but having to end the call prematurely to get back to work. We are concerned about the impact this has on their families, performance at work and the effect on their ability to focus and maintain concentration.”
Two local employers have taken CAB’s offer of providing a workplace clinic once a month so staff can access advice and information.
Jenny says CAB provides well trained volunteer interviewers who offer free, confidential and nonjudgmental information and advice on their rights, responsibilities and support needed to find solutions. CAB researches the help required, accessing “hotlines” to some government departments.
“We can help with anything. These are good employers who are considerate by promoting the health and wellbeing of their staff. We encourage businesses to come and talk to us about how we can work together to support their staff or customers.”
Another new service offered by CAB is to help new immigrants submit an application online.
“Some people find it really difficult because they’ve not done it before, don’t own a computer or English is their second language.”
Jenny says they are initially setting this up to help with immigration issues but will build on this. “We’re quite excited because we see a real need for this. We will sit alongside and support them and make sure the information is entered correctly. There are so many different aspects to visas and we need to make sure they are applying for the one that best suits them.”
Napier CAB has 48 volunteers on board. Jenny says many are interviewers who do a lot of research for their clients and like to be able to support their community. But they always need more volunteers, she says.
“We’re very passionate about helping our community and always happy to look at providing a satellite service within the community.”
■ Napier Citizens Advice Bureau, 126 Hastings St, Napier. Phone 06 835 9664.
CAB volunteers Penny and Wendy with manager Jenny Pearce outside their new office in Hastings St, Napier.