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Four years after the closure of Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) in North Ayrshire a new free financial advice service has been established for the residents of Arran and North Ayrshire.
The project has been made possible by new funding from the Scottish government.
It will not be a full-time, permanent CAB, but will offer advice specifically on debt and money problems by telephone, email and personal appointments.
The financial advice service will be delivered by staff from Renfrewshire CAB.
Renfrewshire CAB chief executive Martin Fotheringham explained: ‘There’s no doubt that North Ayrshire has missed its Citizens Advice Bureau in the last four years.
‘People will remember we used to have four offices. However due to a reduction in funding the service made the difficult decision to close down in 2018.
‘That means people have missed out on some of the expert CAB advice that is available all over the rest of Scotland.
‘This has been a real loss, especially during these difficult times when many families have been in financial crisis.
‘There are some very good debt charities in the county but the scale of the demand for help means that the loss of the CAB has created a real gap in the amount of support that is available to people, just when they need it most.
‘So we’re really pleased to be back. We won’t have the same presence as before, but our expert advice will be very accessible to anyone who needs it, either by telephone or email, or in-person.
‘Last year the Scottish CAB network put a total of £147 million back in the pockets of the people who came to us for advice.
‘This was through finding unclaimed benefits they didn’t know about, or accessing with-held wages, or compensation and a number of other instances.
‘We can do all this for you, and we can also contact your creditors and re-arrange debt payments to make them more affordable for you.
‘And remember, the Citizens Advice service is free, impartial and confidential. If you are in debt or worried about money, come and talk to us.
‘We won’t judge you, we just want to help. So the message is, don’t suffer alone – come and let us help you. It’s what we do.’
The new North Ayrshire Citizens Advice debt service can be contacted by calling 0141 889 2121 or by emailing email@example.com. If you would like to make a face-to-face appointment, this can also be arranged. You can also get more info on twitter @CABinNAyrshire.