For 40 years now Citizens Advice Bureau offices in Berwickshire and Roxburgh have been there to help when people didn’t know where else to turn.
They have provided free confidential advice and information to local people whatever their problem and in their 40th year and since last year’s welfare reforms there has never been such demand for their services.
The CAB across Roxburgh and Berwickshire has existed under a number of different combinations, offices merging in 2003 and eventually becoming incorporated as Roxburgh and Berwickshire CAB in 2011. It now serves the people of Roxburgh and Berwickshire from offices in Hawick, Kelso, Duns and Eyemouth and currently operates six outreaches funded by the Big Lottery.
Roxburgh and Berwickshire CAB draws on the skills and experience of over 50 volunteers with differing backgrounds.
Vera Baxter, from Coldstream, was one of the bureau’s first managers and has returned as a volunteer after a career in giving benefits advice. Sophie Wild on the other hand joined the bureau from school after volunteering for the bureau’s Youth Project.
Manager, Rhona Calder, said: “It is a great challenge to take on the bureau at a time when it has never been busier.
“We are very proud of our 40 year long tradition of helping people across Roxburgh and Berwickshire. The task now is to ensure we can carry on helping people and we always welcome more volunteers.
Rhona added that there are lots of reasons why people volunteer in their local bureau: “It’s a really stimulating place to volunteer, with lots of different things to do.
“People can help in a way that suits the time they can spare and the skills they can offer. Volunteers can learn new skills and improve their confidence and lots of people who’ve been Citizens Advice Bureau volunteers move on to paid work or further education.
“If you’re looking for a job, working in a bureau won’t affect your benefits.”
If you feel you have the time and are interested in volunteering in your local office then please contact Rhona on 01361 883340.