Advice sessions launched in Blackpool community centre

Grassroots town hall funding is being used to bring vital advice sessions into the community.

Friday, 27th July 2018, 4:48 pm
Updated Friday, 27th July 2018, 4:52 pm
The launch of Citizen's Advice Bureau sessions at South Shore Community Centre

Grassroots town hall funding is being used to bring vital advice sessions into the community.

Blackpool's Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) has launched weekly sessions at South Shore Community Centre on Highfield Road as part of a six month pilot scheme.

Advisors will be on hand each Thursday afternoon between 1pm and 5pm at the centre, formerly Highfield Library.

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It follows on from existing outreach work which sees CAB sessions held at GP's surgeries around Blackpool.

Tracy Hopkins, chief executive at Blackpool CAB, said: "This has given us opportunity to deliver a service to the people of South Shore and we know there is a lot of hidden need in this area.

"It's things like not knowing what kind of benefits they are entitled to such as carers' allowance, and debt problems.

"The benefits system is very complex and one of our senior case benefits advisors will be here on a Thursday.

"Our sessions at GP surgeries have been very successful. While the GP can help a patient with their clinical needs, for example if they are suffering from depression, we can meet their practical needs if perhaps debt management is at the root of their problems."

The South Shore scheme is being funded thanks to a £3,000 contribution from the ward grant of Squires Gate councillors Alistair Humphreys and Christian Cox.

Coun Humphreys said: "It was an idea which came about through talking to young mums who said they needed advice on things ranging from childcare and debt management to mortgages and rents.

"Already today we have had people in who have issues which they need resolving."

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden, who also attended the launch, said: "I know through my own office casework that many people in this area are under enormous pressure at the moment including from the government's Universal Credit programme.

"Other issues rise from tenants and rent problems. So I welcome the launch of these CAB sessions, and it is great they are being held here at the former Highfield Library building."

To attend a session, people need to book an appointment, which they can do by calling CAB on 01253 308400.