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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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South Cumbria citizens advice groups will benefit from £1m lottery awards

GRANTS totalling almost £1m have been awarded to three South Cumbrian citizens advice charities.

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Cumbria Rural Citizens Advice, which covers the South Lakes, was the biggest winner, after being given £312,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Barrow Citizens Advice Bureau has been awarded £298,000 of the £67m distributed nationally, while Copeland Citizens Advice Bureau – which has an office in Millom – received £220,000.

The money will come as a particular boost to Cumbria Rural now that it has to fill the void left by the closure of Citizens Advice South Lakeland earlier this year.

Ulverston CAB closed after CASL was dissolved following financial trouble. Cumbria Rural has said it will do its best to ensure residents do not lose out as a result.

The charity has bases in Windermere and Grange, but announced last month it was branching out in Ulverston and Kendal after the loss of their CAB offices.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of national charity Citizens Advice, said: “With demand for advice higher than ever, this one-off funding will help bureaux up and down the country find innovative new ways of learning from each other, joining up services and finding ways of increasing sustainability through collaboration with local partners like AgeUK, Shelter and law centres.

“Citizens Advice Bureaux are working hard to find new ways to fund and deliver the important support we provide in communities across Britain.”

The grants are part of a transition fund aimed at helping services adapt to ensure they can cope with the financial pressures of increased demand.

Dharmendra Kanani, Big Lottery Fund director for England, said: “Getting the right advice at the right time can be a lifeline for people and communities most in need.

“Current services are struggling to keep up with increasing demand and the greater complexity in the types of problems people are facing.

“Times are tough for advice providers and for people at the thin end of the wedge.

“This is a chance to invest in a much needed transformation of services so that they can adapt, respond to need and survive.”

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