SOLIHULL’s Citizens Advice Bureaux have been inundated with people asking for help with debts and unemployment.
As the recession bites, residents have descended on their local bureau with a range of questions.
The number of visitors has grown noticeably since the beginning of 2009, prompting the Shirley and Chelmsley Wood CABs to offer evening sessions.
Maria Veitch, manager of the Shirley branch, said: “Problems are being felt across the borough and Shirley is no exception.
“We’ve lost jobs at Woolworths and the Bank of Ireland, and there are plenty of other businesses who are suffering as well.”
Before Christmas, the authorities predicted there would be a surge of people asking for help in the early part of 2009 - once the realities of the downturn had become apparent.
“On some mornings we’ve got as many as 20-25 people queueing outside the door - it’s obvious that people have real concerns.” said Maria.
“A lot of residents have got through Christmas, but have returned to work and found that their circumstances have changed, in some cases their job will have gone or they might be struggling to pay the bills.”
The debt and employment evening - which took place on Wednesday evening - was well received, and the CABs are now planning similar events over the coming months.
The organisations have already joined forces with Solihull Council to tackle the growing credit crunch.
Last month, advice on how to survive the downturn was published on the council’s website (www.solihull.gov.uk/moneycounts/top10tips.htm).
The Solihull News played its part too by publishing tips on how to beat the recession.
In addition, a printed version of these tips has now been rolled out to Connect Centres around the borough.
For more advice call Shirley CAB on 0121 744 3238, Chelmsley CAB on 0121 779 6707 or Solihull Community Housing’s money advice line on 0121 717 1515.
l If you have concerns about the credit crunch then you can also send your questions to the Solihull News and we’ll put them to the experts.