Thornbury's Citizens Advice Bureau wins grant to help keep it open

Gazette Series: A Gazette campaign has helped keep Thornbury's Citizens Advice Bureau open for another year A Gazette campaign has helped keep Thornbury's Citizens Advice Bureau open for another year

THE doors of Thornbury Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) will stay open for another year, it has been confirmed.

The advice centre will continue in the town for the coming financial year after securing the majority of funding needed to keep it running.

The charity was almost forced to fold this time last year after central government withdrew its legal aid funding to charities nationwide, creating a £50,000 hole for South Gloucestershire bureaus but a campaign launched by the Gazette raised £12,000 to prevent the closure.

The Thornbury branch will cost a total of £21,000 to keep operating for the coming year.

A grant of £9,000 has been secured from the South Gloucestershire Area Forum.

Thornbury Town Council gave a grant of £8,000 plus a cash donation of £1,000 while the town trust also rowed in to support the centre by donating £2,000.

There is still a £1,000 shortfall but CEO of South Gloucestershire CAB Christine Kenny said she is confident they will make ends meet - this year.

She said: “We are pretty much sorted for the year ahead but after that we don’t know. We are expecting further cuts in government funding next year.”

Thornbury and Yate MP Steve Webb said Thornbury CAB provides a very valuable service not just to the town of Thornbury but also to surrounding communities.

He said: “It is helpful to have expert and impartial advice close at hand, and I’m delighted the CAB has secured its services in Thornbury for another year.”

The Town Council provides office space free of charge at the back of the Town Hall on High Street. At present there is one paid supervisor working at the CAB assisted by four volunteers.

Cllr Clive Parkinson said: “The town council has always supported the CAB by providing free office space in the heart of the town and giving what support we can to them. It’s great news that we are able to sustain the centre for another year.”

The charity depends on grants from local bodies, parishes and towns as well as South Gloucestershire Council, but it receives no direct funding from the local authority.

The Thornbury shop caters for an average of 20 people per week providing free guidance on everything from money management and benefits to immigration issues and employment.

It opens two mornings a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 1pm. Appointments are available after this time if required.

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