Craven and Harrogate District Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has launched a fundraising campaign to keep the charity going following a reduction in grant funding.
Staff and volunteers are hoping to raise £50,000 to make up for the shortfall in funding from Harrogate Borough Council.
It comes after the branch, which includes Ripon, received less than the applied for amount from the council’s community grant scheme as a result of the authority being oversubscribed for funding applications.
The group’s treasurer and trustee Sandra Jowett said: “I have been a trustee for six years and in all that time the funding situation has never been as dire as it is at present. Last year Harrogate Borough Council gave a grant of £114,000 to the bureau, but from April this year that has been reduced to £70,000.
“In the climate of austerity more and more local residents are seeking the help of CAB. I’m not sure whether the general public may not appreciate that we are a charity and receive no direct government funding; therefore we have to raise any shortfalls ourselves.
“Through your paper we appeal to the public and local groups to get behind us to achieve this.”
As a result of the reduction in funding, the CAB office in Ripon is set to close next month. However, the service will continue to run out of borrowed premises in the city.
The charity’s CEO Erica Cadbury, who attended a meeting to discuss the future of the service on Monday, said: “There isn’t an appropriate office building for us to take at the moment, however in the short-term there will still be a service in Ripon.
“The board backed the concept of us running a campaign to raise the £50,000 shortfall that we need to maintain all our services in the district.
“That will involve us making applications to funders who are interested in supporting our work. Volunteers are looking at other sources of funding and are raising funds themselves as well.”
The council has maintained that the only way to increase funding for the CAB, would be to reduce the amount that has been awarded to the other organisations through its Strategic Grant Fund.
Ms Cadbury said: “This has been a wake-up call that times are hard for local councils and we need to be proactive in raising money ourselves as well.”
To help email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.justgiving.com/cravenharrogate-districtsCAB