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.

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