Prob­lem solv­ing team thanked

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Yourviews - BY OLIVER CLAY oliver.clay@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @oliv­er­clayRWWN

CIT­I­ZENS Ad­vice Hal­ton is cel­e­brat­ing its vol­un­teers who ded­i­cate their time to solv­ing other res­i­dents’ prob­lems and mak­ing a dif­fer­ence to their lives.

The char­ity said it was keen to high­light their work help­ing any­one strug­gling with is­sues such as debt, hous­ing, ben­e­fits and em­ploy­ment is­sues.

Hitesh Pa­tel, Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Hal­ton’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, said the char­ity’s 30 vol­un­teers give up more than 200 hours each week and last year helped 4,500 res­i­dents and took on 5,800 cases. He said the team has played a cru­cial role in en­sur­ing Widnes and Run­corn res­i­dents re­ceive the ad­vice and sup­port they need to live their lives.

Cit­i­zens Ad­vice offers a range of roles in­clud­ing fundrais­ing, ad­vis­ers, ● ad­min­is­tra­tors and com­mu­nity events reps.

Na­tion­ally, the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s 23,000 vol­un­teers pro­vide sup­port in 2,900 lo­ca­tions across Eng­land and Wales, help­ing 2.7m clients ev­ery year.

The Hal­ton branch has re­ported that two out of ev­ery three clients have their prob­lem solved and four out of five say the ad­vice re­ceived im­proved their lives.

Fiona McKelvie, a for­mer vol­un­teer now em­ployed as a project co­or­di­na­tor and em­ploy­ment law case­worker, said: “I joined the CAB (Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bu­reau) vol­un­teer team 15 years ago and have loved ev­ery minute of it since.

“I get a real buzz out of help­ing peo­ple sort out prob­lems that have been hold­ing them back and the skills I’ve learned have re­ally helped me de­velop con­fi­dence for my own ca­reer prospects.”

Mr Pa­tel said: “Our vol­un­teers make a huge dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives.

“They give up their free time to help peo­ple in their com­mu­nity, who may be go­ing through prob­lems, to get back on their feet.

“Vol­un­teer­ing is for ev­ery­body and it brings its own re­wards.

“It’s a great way to meet peo­ple and learn skills.

“If you’d like to help peo­ple in your area and can spare a few hours, we’d love to hear from you.”

Any­one in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing with Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Hal­ton should email Chris Sut­ton at ad­vice@ cit­i­zen­sad­vice­hal­ton.org.uk or phone 0151 257 2449 and leave a mes­sage.

Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Hal­ton hascel­e­brated the ef­forts of its vol­un­teer team, pic­ture, who help the public with a range of is­sues

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