Volunteer plea to keep advice service running

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The Ilkeston branch of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) has appealed for volunteers so it can keep helping thousands of locals every month.

The plea comes after the launch of a National Lottery project to recruit volunteers as demand on the service continues to increase.

Ilkeston’s branch, based at the Albion Centre in East Street, helped 2,395 clients last month, but now needs help to keep the doors open.

Project development officer, Sarah-Jane Pickering, said the centre would not be able to run without volunteers.

She said: “At the moment we’ve only got receptionists available in the morning so we have to shut our doors at 2pm.

“And we don’t have a doorbell because it keeps getting stolen.”

Ms Pickering hopes to be able to utilise volunteers more after the recent welfare changes, which has meant that more people are relying on the service.

She added: “We want to keep our doors open so that we are able to help more people in Ilkeston.”

Citizens’ Advice, which marks its 75th anniversary this year, helps with issues including debt and benefits.

“We once had someone call saying they’d found a racing pigeon in their garden and didn’t know how to get it home,” the 27-year-old said.

“And we got it home in the end!”

The service has many volunteers including students and retired workers and offers full, expenses-paid training.

Current volunteer Sue Pringle, 66, spoke about her experience to try and encourage new volunteers.

She said: “It’s very interesting, always challenging, always different and you never have the same day twice.”

Experience with the organisation is also a great platform, with 44% of people who volunteered last year leaving because they found a job,

If you are interested in volunteering for the Citizens’ Advice Bureau contact them on 0115 9512 968 or email Lesley.singleton@ddcab.org.uk