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Community / CAB encourages people to seek help and advice this winter

THE LOCAL branch of Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is encouraging people who are “worried this winter” to come forward and seek advice on how to deal with ever rising energy bills and the cost of living crisis.

Shetland CAB manager Karen Eunson said the services of the citizen advice network were for everyone regardless of background and circumstance, and urged people to get in touch.

“Some people don’t think the CAB service is for them, but nothing could be further from the truth,” she said.

Data from across the network suggests one in 10 people seeking help with an energy issue also require food insecurity advice.

CAB wants people worried about their energy bills to seek wraparound advice that could see their incomes boosted through additional grants or social security payments.

As part of a new big energy saving winter campaign, people can now get advice in a number of ways, including one to one from Shetland CAB, or through a range of online options including the interactive self-help tool which can be found at https://moneymap.scot

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Last year the citizens advice unlocked £132 million for people across Scotland, with Shetland CAB helping local people to the tune of £1.5 million.

Eunson said: “With higher energy bills, interest rates and prices in the shops, we know that many people are worried this winter. If that applies to you, please understand you aren’t alone – and help is available.

“Shetland CAB can help you with advice, whether that is specifically about your energy bills or wider problems with the cost of living.

“There may be grants or benefits you are missing out on, or other ways to boost your income or cut your costs.

“If you don’t want to come to the CAB itself for face to face advice, there are a range of online options you can access for help www.cas.org.uk/besw Our advice is free, impartial and confidential for all.”

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Consumer Scotland, the new statutory consumer body, is supporting the energy saving campaign with funding of £60,000.

Its chief executive Sam Ghibaldan said: “With the current cost of living crisis and ongoing concern about rising energy bills, this campaign comes at a crucial time for households throughout Scotland.

“Consumer Scotland research shows many consumers are struggling to afford their bills even before the onset of winter, so it is important consumers know help and support is available.

Meanwhile Home Energy Scotland said improving energy efficiency of homes could make a big difference to people’s bills now and in the future.

Advice is available via the organisation’s website at https://www.homeenergyscotland.org or on the freephone umber 0808 808 2282.

Shetland Citizens Advice Bureau can be contacted by calling 01595 694696 or emailing sicab@shetland.org

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