Mansfield Citizen’s Advice Bureau has been awarded almost £350,000 in lottery and Government funding, aimed at shearing up cash-strapped advice services nationally.
The organisation has been awarded a total of £349,350 from the The Advice Services Transition Fund, which is making 226 awards nationally from Big Lottery Fund and Cabinet Office cash.
Nearby Ashfield Citizens Advice Bureau has also been awarded £328,786 from the £67 million funding round, which also includes payments to law centres, and community action groups.
Only 20 per cent of the cash can be used on service delivery, with the remainder invested in working practice and exploring more effective ways of giving advice to clients, and partnership working with other agencies.
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy, said: “With demand for advice higher than ever, this one-off funding will help bureaux up and down the country find innovative new ways of learning from each other, joining up services and finding ways of increasing sustainability through collaboration with local partners like Age UK, Shelter and law centres.
“At the heart of our service are over 22,000 volunteers who devote their time and expertise for free, week after week to advise people who are struggling to pay their bills, feed their family and feel they have nowhere else to turn.”
“Citizens Advice Bureaux are working hard to find new ways to fund and deliver the important support we provide in communities across Britain.
“Our exceptional volunteers will continue to provide professional, empathetic support despite the significant pressures they are facing.”
The Advice Services Transition Fund was launched in October 2012 making grants of between £50,000 and £350,000 to be spent over two years.
A spokesman for the Big Lottery Fund said: “The awards comes as a direct and timely response to the challenging circumstances advice providers and those dependent on their services are facing. The funding aims to help address that immediate need but will also help strengthen organisations for the demands that lay ahead.”
The news has been welcomed by Mansfield MP Sir Alan Meale.
He said: “It’s a great step in the right direction as it will go towards the excellent work this organisation does for local people in the Mansfield area.”