Citizens advice tops this year’s Wealden grants

Wealden District Council, Hailsham
Wealden District Council, Hailsham
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Wealden’s Citizens Advice receives the most support this year from the district’s Service Level Agreements - the council’s commitment to the voluntary sector.

Operating in Hailsham, Crowborough and Uckfield, it will receive £137,000 a year in the three year agreement.

Overall more than £262,000 a year was awarded in council agreements.

“Citizens Advice has an invaluable track record in providing a wide range of advice and help to residents, particularly those with debt problems or facing other economic difficulties,” said Councillor Claire Dowling, Cabinet member for Community Health and Public Safety.

Caroline Mack, chief executive of Wealden Citizens Advice acknowledged the importance of Wealden’s support: “This core funding is vital to ensure residents in Wealden have access to free, confidential, impartial and independent advice.

“Working in partnership has enabled Wealden Citizens Advice to set up new services such as specialist advice in housing and welfare benefits, pilots in providing advice through Skype and email and much more.

“Without the funding from WDC, our drop-in service and these new services would not exist, leaving the residents and vulnerable people of Wealden without a way to resolve their problems.”

Cllr Dowling said each year, through its Service Level Agreements, Wealden District Council underwrites the work of some major voluntary services in the District, allowing them to plan ahead.

“This makes a real difference to members of our community including the young and old and those with disabilities and makes Wealden a better place to live,” she said.

“Some 18 organisations benefit from our medium term financial support.

“These include Eastbourne and Wealden YMCA which helps provide accommodation for young homeless people in Crowborough and Uckfield; Furniture Now, who train and employ youngsters not in training or education and vulnerable people to help repair and restore furniture which can be sold at discount to people on low incomes.”

The council is also supporting Care for the Carers, helping Rotherfield St Martin expand health and social care work into Frant, Hartfield, Heathfield, Crowborough and Wadhurst, Homestart to provide support to families in the north of the District, transport groups and countryside organisations like Ashdown Forest Conservators.

For the full list of grants see the Sussex Express (Hailsham or Uckfield edition) of May 23.