Lottery cash boost for Citizens Advice

Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service (D&G CAS) has won a grant of new funding to help the organisation protect local people from welfare cuts.

The Big Lottery award amounts to £215,939 to be spent in developing more expert advice across the region over the next 18 months. It will be mainly targeted towards four areas which have been identified as having particular problems – Annan, Upper Nithsdale, North West Dumfries and Stranraer West – providing a service in people’s homes and will work to prevent more people falling below the poverty line.

D&G CAS chief executive Sue Irving said: “The biggest priority of our service over the past few years has been to help those people who have been hurt economically by the double whammy of the recession and welfare cuts.

“Every day our advisers see people who have been pushed into real financial crisis. You can see that in the shocking increase in the numbers of people who need the help of food parcels.

“There is no doubt that financial advice is our priority at the moment. That’s why we recruited five new welfare advisers earlier this year with funding from Dumfries and Galloway Council. And now we have secured this additional funding from the lottery. It will be targeted mainly at helping people in the four areas of multiple deprivation in the region, but anyone who is struggling financially can come to us for free, confidential expert advice.

“We have shown over recent years that we are able to make a difference to people’s lives by offering the best possible free and confidential advice.”