At a meeting of the council’s policy and finance committee the go-to advice organisation was permitted an additional one-off funding grant for £8,500 on top of the £20,000 a year (plus Retail Price Index) the council has pledged for the next five years.
The pandemic has put a strain on CALL’s ability to deliver its core services resulting in a plea to the council for further funding.
In the report submitted to the committee, CALL’s chief officer asked for money towards costs for increasing awareness of their services through publicity, increasing the hours of their benefits advisor and installing hearing loop technology.
Lynn Stuart, acting chair of trustees for CALL, said: “We are so grateful to Leighton-Linslade Town Council for continuing to support us financially, particularly during such a challenging time. As the only provider of holistic advice in the local area, we offer residents a vital lifeline. This has been of particular importance given the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on individuals and families who live in Leighton Buzzard.
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“The funding for five years will offer us stability and the ability to offer a consistent advice service. The generous one-off funding will allow us to revitalise our publicity to ensure we are reaching everyone who needs help, as well as strengthen our ability to meet the needs of our hearing-impaired clients.
“We are looking forward to continuing to work with the town council to ensure the residents of Leighton Buzzard receive the advice and help they need.”
Citizens Advice provides free information and advice to help anyone resolve their problems, including benefits, debt, employment, housing and consumer issues. It also works to improve policies and practices that affect people’s lives.
During the last financial year CALL helped 2,485 people in Leighton Linslade with 112,128 different issues.
Cllr Stephen Jones, chair of the policy and finance committee, said: “I am delighted we are able to support CALL especially given these uncertain times. It’s important people get the help they need.”
For free impartial advice contact CALL on 01525 373878/374589 or email via the website: www.leightonlinsladecab.org.uk