CITIZENS Advice helped a record 94,000 people access food banks and access to charity grants in the first four months of this year.
The staggering figure, a 178% increase on 2020, was revealed by the charity during National Volunteer Week, which ran from June 1 to 7.
In East Dorset and Purbeck, the charity said people were ‘struggling to stay on top of household bills as the cost-of-living crisis continues to make life incredibly difficult’.
The branch has helped more than 11,000 people with more than 39,000 problems including debt advice, housing, benefits and employment issues.
Citizens Advice East Dorset & Purbeck highlighted the ‘incredible work’ its more than 40 volunteers do and thanked them for their contributions.
Linda Cowling, a volunteer adviser, said: “I have had the pleasure of working as a volunteer Citizens Advice Adviser for nearly five years now and not only has it been educational and motivational for me personally, it has also been a rewarding experience helping the general public.
“Although challenges exist, especially with the more vulnerable clients, there is nothing more satisfying than a positive outcome to their worrying concerns.”
Helen Goldsack, chief officer at Citizens Advice in East Dorset & Purbeck, said volunteers were invaluable to the work of the organisation.
“We’re forever grateful to our wonderful team of volunteers who willingly give up their time and skills to ensure people in East Dorset & Purbeck can get the support they need,” she said.
“I’m particularly proud of the dedication they’ve shown during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, when demand for our help is so high.
“Their hard work, dedication and commitment is incredible. We simply couldn’t do it without them.”
Staff were set to be treated to a special thank you picnic, she said, in a bid to show the charity’s appreciation for their efforts.
Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering with Citizens Advice in East Dorset & Purbeck should contact email@example.com.
No experience is required and full training and support is provided for volunteer roles. For more information about the types of roles on offer, visit www.edpcitizensadvice.org.uk/volunteer.