Cosham’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau given two grants to help it stay open


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A FINANCIAL support service in Portsmouth has been saved from closure after it received a much-needed cash boost.

Lloyds TSB Foundation is giving Cosham’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau £30,000 over the next two years to help keep it open.

Bureau trustees previously agreed to shut the Northern Road branch in June because they couldn’t keep up with running costs.

Lynne Davies, chief executive officer for Portsmouth Citizens’ Advice Bureau, said: ‘This is great news and we are extremely grateful. That facility is so well-used.

‘Around 20 to 30 people a day come for advice.

‘We struggle to keep up with demand for its telephone service.

‘Everything that branch does is so important to the Cosham and Paulsgrove communities. It was in danger of closing because we were struggling to keep up with the running costs.

‘If we had closed then people would have had to travel into Portsmouth.

‘That would have been difficult for people who haven’t got much money to live on and barely have enough to cover their bills. With welfare reforms coming in, we anticipate that demand for our service will increase.’

Cosham CAB has been given £15,000 of the grant now and the other half will be handed over next year.

It is one of a number of cash grants being given by the foundation to Citizen Advice Bureaus’ across the country.

Overall, it costs £30,000 to keep the Cosham branch running every year and staff will hold fundraising events to cover what else is needed.

But they’re already well on their way to their target because the Garfield Weston Foundation has promised to give £10,000.

Ms Davies said: ‘Even with a predominantly volunteer workforce, it’s not possible to maintain services without funding. ‘

Sara Cooney, grant manager for South Central and London at the Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales, said, ‘The Foundation is committed to supporting charities so that they can deliver lasting change by funding much-needed core costs.

‘Through our community funding programme, we hope to support charities that undertake innovative and proactive work which improves the quality of life for disadvantaged people and their communities.’