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Community / Citizens Advice Bureau continues to make a big difference

The in-demand charity is also looking for more volunteers

Shetland CAB manager Della Armstong. Photo: Dave Donaldson

SHETLAND’s Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) says it unlocked a total of £1.9 million for local people in the last financial year.

This was by helping them gain money through things like compensation, benefits, withheld wages and energy grants.

The figures have been published today (Monday) as part of the news that the Citizens Advice network across Scotland as a whole unlocked £142 million in this way over the year.

Now the charity is asking local people to consider volunteering with it to help it deal with its growing workload.

Local CAB manager Della Armstrong said: “The cost of living crisis has really hit so many households in Shetland and we’re seeing more people than ever coming to us for help.

“It’s important to just pause every now and again to look at how much we’ve been able to help people. I’m very proud of our team for this £1.9 million we’ve been able to deliver for people locally.

“This is often in small amounts but even these can make a huge difference to a family that’s struggling.

“The other thing to remember is that most of the money we put back in peoples’ pockets will be spent here in Shetland, helping local shops and the economy.

“Of course, we can’t promise to find additional income for everyone, but you’d be surprised how many times we can.

“For example, so many people are entitled to social security benefits that they don’t know about, so they aren’t claiming.

“We can do a check for you to see if you’re missing out on money like that. Or if you prefer you can check for yourself with our online tool www.moneymap.scot.”

Armstrong added that as a charity, the CAB cannot afford to pay for more staff – so it has to rely on volunteers coming forward to join the team.

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She said things are “really stretched” at the moment.

“You don’t need to have any particular experience or qualifications,” Armstrong said.

“All you need is a willingness to help the community and a few hours to spare – we ask for a minimum of 6-8 hours per week.

“The CAB network offers fantastic training and mentoring and we also give travel expenses. Our current team are a great bunch to work with. You’ll make new friends and learn new skills.

“But the best thing about working in a CAB is of course being able to help people.

“So please do think about it, and if you’re interested please contact me at sicab@shetland.org.”

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