MORE volunteers are needed to help man the newly formed Rural Cambs Citizens Advice Bureau, it was announced at their first annual meeting.

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The new CAB - created by the merger of Ely & District and Fenland CABs - already has 60 volunteers but extra manpower is needed to deal with the thousands of queries fielded by the organisation.

The annual meeting in Chatteris was attended by local councillors, corporate sponsors, local leaders of the community and many of the staff and volunteers. Councillor Alan Melton, Leader of Fenland District Council, welcomed everyone to the South Fens Business Centre at Chatteris, geographically centred between the two districts.

Cllr Melton said: “The CAB offers invaluable service to the community and its services will be needed even more, particularly with the changes to welfare benefits meaning that more people are likely to be facing financial hardship.

He added: “The CAB offers a cost-efficient way of delivering council objectives.”

Over the past six months, the Bureau has dealt with more than 13,000 different queries.

Beverley Howard, chief officer for Rural Cambs CAB, said: “It is important that the CAB is available for advice, whatever the problem, and it needs to be easily accessible in person, by telephone and via the internet.”

Looking forward to the new year ahead, Beverley added: ‘We will need to recruit more volunteers to help the local community with the challenges ahead and we would welcome hearing from anyone who may be interested in the opportunity for volunteering with us.’

Chair of the Trustee Board, Mr Peter Arch, thanked the fantastic team of over 60 volunteers and specialist staff that was the backbone of the service and enabled so many local residents to get the help and support they needed.

A full list of contact details and opening times for the CAB can be found on the website at www.ruralcambscab.org.uk .

Anyone interested in volunteering, should send their name, telephone number, address to admin@ruralcambscab.org.uk

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