Do you need help in a crisis? If so, don’t be afraid to contact Ribble Valley Citizens Advice Bureau.
As part of the Government’s benefits shake-up this year, the Social Fund was abolished and Crisis Loans from the Jobcentre are no longer available. Emergency funds are now given out by Lancashire County Council’s Care and Urgent Needs Support Scheme.
Ribble Valley CAB are concerned Government funding for crisis support has been reduced by 40% since two years ago and the current scheme is not reaching people in need. The new scheme, run by BT’s One Connect Limited iwith LCC, has spent less than a quarter of the budget so far this year.
Christina Aro, of Ribble Valley Citizens Advice, says these figures are remarkable in a time of increasing need: “We think the application process is difficult for people, which is why the crisis money is not being spent. There is no doubt urgent hardship exists here. Just look at the demand for the work of Clitheroe Foodbank.”
The CAB welcomes the Support Scheme’s efforts to improve the application process and has agreed to pilot a new application form in December. Manager Katy Marshall welcomes contact on 01200 428998 from anyone in need of support to apply for crisis money or essential household goods.
Ribble Valley Citizens Advice Bureau, in Parson Lane, Clitheroe, is open from 10 am to 4 pm weekdays (except Wednesday) for callers in person or phone 01200 428966. Longridge appointments are available by calling 01200 427336.