FOR volunteers at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Solihull town centre their time is spent helping us to the best of their ability.
Whatever problem you come through the door with, they are trained to listen and offer advice.
In doing this they receive no remuneration and the only thing they go home from the job with is the satisfaction of helping people in need.
For some people the Citizens Advice Bureau will be their first point of call when they have a difficulty. They might be worried about their job, or concerned with how much debt they have.
However many people turn to the CAB as their last resort, when they are faced with a seemingly insurmountable dilemma and feel they have exhausted all other avenues.
CAB advisors can act as an advocate for their clients, writing letters, making phone calls and working with other agencies to do everything they can in order to help.
Their workload has increased thanks to the effects of the credit crunch and the economic downturn, Karen Marks, manager of the Solihull town centre branch explains how this has led to more people coming through their doors.
“We’ve seen a significant surge since January,” she said. “It’s been busier than ever across the borough.
“Employment issues often lead on to knock on effects, and affect relationships and health.”
“They can also amplify existing problems, such as debt.”
Considering how important the work that CAB does, and the professional and established nature of the organisation, it is easy to forget that it is a charity and relies on donations for its survival.
The Citizens Advice Bureau does receive a large chunk of its funding from government bodies, however they are still left with a shortfall of around £27,000 a year.
Bearing in mind the financial difficulties many people now find themselves in, the work the volunteer advisors do is more important than ever.
With no end in sight to the present economic difficulties it is likely that more and more people will turn to the CAB for help and advice.
They can only continue to provide this service with the help of the very people they serve: us.
So perhaps when you’re next in need of a good cause to donate to, it wouldn’t go amiss to remember the hard-working volunteers of the CAB and the crucial work that goes on every day to help those in need.
To see a video about the Solihull CAB go to www.solihullnews.net.