Citizens Advice seeks new board members

Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service (D&G CAS) is recruiting new members for its board of directors.

D&G CAS, which runs all of the CAB offices across the region and a wide range of specialist services, has a board made up of local people from all walks of life. The board meets every two months to discuss the charity’s business affairs and set its overall direction.

Patrick Shearer, chairman of the board, said: “Like most charities, we are often asking people to come and volunteer in our offices doing the day-to-day job of advising people, answering the phones and staffing reception. But this is different. We are asking people be part of the governance of our services. It’s a very exciting opportunity, particularly at this time when the charity is so busy and when most people agree that our work has never been more crucial. Welfare reform is going to place huge pressures on our services so a strong board is required.

“Our board comprises 12 people, and individual directors are elected for a three-year term in the first instance. This year a number of our existing board members stood down so there is an opportunity for new people to get involved – and we want new faces, with new ideas and different perspectives. We are particularly looking for people with finance, communications, marketing and HR experience but would also encourage applications from others who have an interest in our work.

“As a board member, you are required to take responsibility for the running of the company. We make decisions about the organisation’s finances, policy, staffing and overall direction. It’s very important work and an exciting opportunity for people with the skills and experience to help us develop our work.

“There really has never been a better time to get involved in running D&G CAS. By helping local people manage their debts, get compensation or unpaid wages and so on, we put £10 million back into the pockets of local people and the local economy. With the huge increase in debt and poverty – due to the recession and benefit cuts – our work has made us widely recognised as one of the most important social organisations in the region. We are the current holders of the Charity/Social Enterprise of the Year award from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce and only last month the council agreed to give us an extra £215,000 to take on new staff to help our welfare advice. That’s a sign of the increasingly important role we play in communities across the region.

“D&G CAS is a community organisation, and this is your community. We need your help to make our service as strong as it can be.”

To find out how to apply, visit www.dagcas.org or for an informal discussion, call Sue Irving, chief executive, on 01387 266193.