New free ad­vice ser­vice with a ‘can do’ at­ti­tude

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

BY THE time this ar­ti­cle is printed I shall have vis­ited the Cit­i­zens’ Ad­vice Bureau in Iver, where a new, free ad­vice ser­vice is be­ing launched for Chiltern and South Buck­ing­hamshire.

It is an ad­vice hub which is be­ing run from the St Peter’s Cen­tre at Iver.

This is the Com­mu­nity Ad­vice Net­work and, as the acro­nym for this is ‘CAN’, this ser­vice is cer­tainly a ‘can do’ or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Their lit­er­a­ture in­tro­duc­ing the ser­vice is headed “We can help”, which sums it up neatly.

When peo­ple are look­ing for help, it can some­times be dif­fi­cult for them to work out where they should start, par­tic­u­larly if they need ad­vice about a range of things.

The Com­mu­nity Ad­vice Net­work of­fers a gate­way, so that res­i­dents in our area can ring one phone num­ber: 0300 323 0121.

The net­work is work­ing in part­ner­ship with Age UK, Bucks Float­ing Support, MIND and Car­ers Bucks, so any­one call­ing the num­ber can be re­ferred on to get ad­vice and help from any of th­ese or­gan­i­sa­tions.

In ad­di­tion, it is pos­si­ble to email an in­quiry to help@can­, or to drop in to the lo­cal Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau to talk to one of the vol­un­teers there.

Call­ers can get ad­vice on a wide range of top­ics, such as ben­e­fits, debt, em­ploy­ment, hous­ing or men­tal health.

The vol­un­teer ad­vis­ers are all fully trained. The ad­vice of­fered is free, con­fi­den­tial and open to ev­ery­one.

The vol­un­teers who will be run­ning this ser­vice are ab­so­lutely vi­tal and I hope that more peo­ple will be en­cour­aged that this is some­thing they can do to help oth­ers in our com­mu­nity.

No spe­cific qual­i­fi­ca­tions or ex­pe­ri­ence are needed to train for this. The list of qual­i­ties set out on the web­site www. chiltern­­can­cies be­gins “be good at lis­ten­ing” and fin­ishes with “en­joy help­ing peo­ple”, so I hope there may be some peo­ple read­ing this who think “I can do that!” It is well worth ex­plor­ing the pos­si­bil­ity.

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