Service at risk without funds
Proclaimers back advice service crowdfund appeal
A £20,000 target has been set through a crowdfunding exercise to help the service continue to help more than 5,000 clients in the area every year.
It has 76 volunteers offering their knowledge, skills and expertise free of charge but in response to funding pressures it has been required to relocate.
An office has been secured on Dalmeny Street, near Leith Walk and in the heart of the communities the Leith bureau serves.
The charity is now appealing to the local community to come together and get behind the campaign to help ensure that property is fully accessible.
Charlie and Craig Reid have given their backing to the campaign and issued a statement which said: “We’re right behind the Citizens Advice Bureau in Leith’s great endeavours in providing advice and support to those who need it and urge everyone to support the fundraising campaign.”
The service receives more than 25,000 enquiries for advice and support across Edinburgh every year and supports clients to resolve more than 43,000 issues.
Debt, employment, welfare entitlement and consumer rights, are among the most common issues for which people seek advice.
In 2015 Citizens Advice supported clients in Edinburgh with unmanageable debts totalling £4.25 million.
Following advice, clients achieved more than £3 million of financial gain through more affordable debt repayments, resolving employment disputes and gaining access to welfare entitlement.
The service says continued economic austerity, welfare reform, the uncertain market position within the EU and further devolved powers to Scotland, means that clients across Edinburgh continue to need independent and impartial advice to help them navigate their way through these issues and to ensure their human and legal rights are upheld.
In the last year, the charity has had to manage a doubling in the number of citizens seeking advice in relation to disability welfare entitlement, with nearly a third of clients now being people with a disability.
“Without support from the local community to reach this fundraising target, Citizens Advice in Leith will be at risk,” it said.
Further information and details for anyone wishing to donate can be found at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/cableithfundraiser
Photo: The Proclaimers (by Murdo McLeod)