Having collated our statistics for the last financial year, Sedgefield & District Citizens Advice Bureau is pleased to report a 6% increase in clients helped across the year against a reduction of 25% in funding.  Our telephone gateway line which is currently operating Monday to Friday 10am – 1pm has been a big help in ensuring clients can still get access to advice and where appropriate, appointments, despite our drop-in sessions reducing.

As well as the generalist advice sessions, we still provide specialist level help in debt, and welfare benefits and are the contract holder for specialist housing advice across the county.

In addition to support from Durham County Council for the core service, thanks must also go to the town and parish councils that provide local support, and have enabled us to maintain all of our outreaches, details of which can be found on our website: www.cab-sedgefield.co.uk or by telephoning our gateway line on 01388 825429

As in previous years, debt and benefits take up the majority of our work. We handled over £8.1million of debt for our clients last year and expect to see similar amounts in the coming year. Welfare Reform will affect many households and if you are affected, it is far better to deal with an issue in the early days than to let it get out of control. Even if you just suspect you might struggle in the near future, come and talk to us about the options available to you. We can help with budgeting and ensuring you are getting everything you are entitled to. We can negotiate with creditors on your behalf, even to the point of bankruptcy, if that is the most appropriate option for you.

Do not feel you are alone; we aren’t just here to pick up the pieces, we are also here to stop them falling apart in the first place. If you are unsure of your rights and entitlements or need help with an issue then call into one of our drop-in sessions or telephone our gateway line on 01388 825429. We look forward to being of assistance to you.