BERWICK Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has received a welcome Christmas present thanks to a £20,000 grant from Berwick Town Council.
The financial windfall will help meet the Berwick CAB’s immediate funding shortfall.
Town councillors have also made a further £20,000 commitment in 2013/14.
Mayor John Robertson said: “The Citizen’s Advice Bureau is providing vital support to our residents during a time when many are facing real challenges; the changes to welfare benefits are expected to create still more problems, but CAB is itself facing funding problems just when it is most needed. Councillors feel that supporting Berwick CAB is a good use of resources within the community.”
Earlier this year, Berwick CAB had to scale down its operations because of a reduction in service contract funding and time limited funding such as the ending of the Big Lottery grant.
It meant a reduction in opening hours for the drop-in service at its Tweed Street office in Berwick, the enforced redundancy of two staff and closure of its outreach services, although funds have since been found to reopen them.
CAB manager Jen Hall said: “This funding is a lifeline to the bureau and its clients in Berwick town. In the past we have been able to rely on project funding from charitable trusts and others like the Big Lottery. There are now many more claims for this support and it is harder to secure.
“In May we had to close our service one day per week, make two posts redundant and cut other paid hours. The support of the town council will help to ensure that we can continue to provide the same level of service for the next two years.”