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New town centre premises and some fresh volunteers marked the reopening of Argyll and Bute Citizens Advice Bureau (ABCAB) in Lochgilphead.
The board was delighted to welcome staff, volunteers, partners and MP Brendan O’Hara to a celebration on Thursday September 30 as the bureau on Argyll Street opened its doors following extensive refurbishment after relocating to the town centre earlier in the year.
Mr O’Hara said he was delighted to visit the new ABCAB offices, adding: ‘I welcome the opening of this new hub which will meet the changing needs of Argyll and Bute’s Citizens Advice Bureau.
‘The work being done by ABCAB is vital, especially now the government at Westminster is cutting the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift and the furlough is coming to an end.
‘This, combined with rising energy prices and increasing food and fuel poverty, means more people will need the help, support and expertise offered by CAB than ever before.
‘My constituency office will work closely with ABCAB to support those in need through this crisis and with all employment and benefits matters.
‘I cannot thank the ABCAB team enough for the work they have been doing to help so many people across the constituency during the pandemic and I know that in the tough times ahead, they will continue to provide a lifeline service to many.’
ABCAB chairperson Iain Ritchie said: ‘Argyll and Bute Citizens Advice Bureau’s volunteers and staff have supported clients across the region throughout this unprecedented period of economic uncertainty.
‘Our new offices mean that we can support more clients to be aware of their rights and access much-needed advice and income as we make a return to face-to-face support, as well as welcome new and existing volunteer advisers back into the office.’
‘Everyone at the bureau is delighted to be able to open our office once again to the public of Argyll,’ said manager Jen Broadhurst.
‘While we have continued to provide remote advice via telephone, email and virtual conferencing,’ she added, ‘there is often no substitute for sitting down over a cup of tea and chatting to someone face to face.
‘Our new premises in the heart of Lochgilphead mean we will continue to be able to offer free, trusted advice and support to people and communities not just in Lochgilphead but crucially across all our communities in the region.’
ABCAB is available for advice on all areas of money – debt, employment, benefits and tax – as well as family issues, housing or immigration.
Advisers are available Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm. To arrange to speak to an adviser or to find out more about the ABCAB volunteer training programme, call 01546 605550 or email email@example.com.