I am writing on behalf of the volunteers at Ripon Citizens Advice to express our concern that our office in Ripon may close because of the reduced funding available from Harrogate Borough Council.
It is unfortunate that this reduction in funding happens when we were having to move our Ripon premises because of health and safety concerns about our current building.
Plans were underway to move next door to Community House. This move is now deemed too expensive but we would still like to be in a central location with our own front door, giving us an accessible base for clients and staff.
Most of the advice given at a Citizens Advice office is given by volunteers who are well trained and under the supervision of paid staff.
We give our time freely because we know there is a great need for advice around debt, benefits, employment, housing, divorce and other problems of the current day.
Our advice is free, confidential and impartial. Many of our clients are disabled or vulnerable in some way.
Research by Citizens Advice shows that two in three clients have their problems solved by us, and four in five feel less stressed after receiving our help.
It is estimated that for every £1 spent on Citizens Advice we generate over £15 in benefits to individuals and £8 savings to Government.
Craven and Harrogate Citizens Advice is a fairly new organisation, incorporating the previous offices in Skipton, Harrogate and Ripon.
The Ripon office serves about one quarter of the clientele of the combined offices.
We have a dedicated team in Ripon who want to serve our local population directly rather than offering a reduced service out of potentially borrowed premises.
We hope that a way will be found so that we may continue to do that.
If you think you may be able to help please contact us on 01765 643466.
Volunteer Representative to Citizens Advice
Craven and Harrogate Board