12:00pm Saturday 17th August 2013
By Chris Warne
A SOCIAL policy officer who works for the national Citizens Advice service will deliver a speech about the impact of welfare reform at the AGM of the Stroud and District CAB next month.
Geoff Fimister, whose role is partly to lobby Government on behalf of the charity, will give his talk at Ebley Mill council offices on Wednesday, September 18.
The event, which is open to the public and gets underway at 10.30am, will celebrate the work of the Stroud and District CAB over the last year.
In 2012/13, the Stroud branch of the CAB helped more than 4,000 people resolve almost 10,000 problems and offered advice on 2,934 welfare benefit issues – a record high for the charity.
"Problems with benefits are always some of the most common problems that we see, but this year the number is higher than ever," said Nick Lee, manager of the Stroud and District CAB.
"Every day we see people who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads or put food on the table as wage squeezes, price rises and benefit cuts wreak havoc on household budgets.
"There are big changes to the welfare system coming in this year and we are concerned that a lot of people do not yet know what will happen or how it will affect them.
"People will need a lot of support and information to cope, and we are expecting a huge influx of people struggling to manage the change.
"I would urge anyone who thinks that they may be affected to contact us for free, confidential and independent advice as soon as possible – you do not need to wait until you are struggling before getting help."
Details of the CAB opening hours are on www.stroudcab.org.uk or for telephone advice ring 0844 111444 or from mobiles 0300 3300650.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group