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Rutherglen and Cambuslang Citizens Advice Bureau

Please note that The Robertson Trust has published its new Giving Strategy. This sets out the priorities we will have when awarding funds through our open grants programme. The existing application form and guidelines can still be used until July 31st. In line with our existing procedures, we will aim to assess and present all applications received by this date to our September Board meeting. In the event that we are unable to do so, your application may be held until our November meeting. In such cases a member of staff will contact you and provide any assistance required to realign your application with the new Giving Strategy. Find out all you need to know here.

This Citizens Advice Bureau provides advice, information and support on a range of issues relating to welfare benefits, health and disability to more than 3,700 clients from its offices in Cambuslang, and on an outreach basis in community hubs across South Lanarkshire.

Rutherglen and Cambuslang Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) provides advice, information and support on issues relating to welfare benefits, health and disability to more than 3,700 clients from its offices in Cambuslang. It also works on an outreach basis in community hubs in areas of high disadvantage across South Lanarkshire.

Towards the three-year salary costs of the CAB’s new Money and Welfare Advisor. Given the growing demand for support around debt issues, the CAB wants to adopt a more proactive approach – with an emphasis on early intervention – to help prevent individuals’ financial situations from spiralling out of control. As such, the CAB has employed a new Money and Welfare Advisor who will adopt an early intervention approach, conducting money and wellbeing health checks through the CAB's existing outreach community hubs. In doing so, the CAB can support around 400 clients most in need of basic financial help.

Where are you now with this project?
We are now into the second year of the project and it’s going very well. We have exceeded all targets. In year one, we had an overall Client Financial Gain of £251,652.30.

And what's still to come?
We have another year to go, with the project coming to an end in December 2019. By then, we hope to be able to secure additional funding to continue this project and support the many clients who rely on our service. With the introduction of Universal Credits, clients will require improved financial skills to ensure that they can manage their journal and so forth. This will present a challenge for many of our clients who are unfamiliar with this process or have a lack of skills.

What tips would you give to other organisations seeking funding for this kind of work?
Make sure you are aware of your clients’ needs and what service you will be providing. Do plenty of advertising and networking. Where possible, always try and get client feedback as this helps prioritise the needs of your project.

What difference does this funding award make to the work you do?
It makes a massive difference and really enhances the work we do. Match funding has enabled us to have a specialist advisor who can spend time with clients to make sure we meet their needs. Clients also benefit by being able to improve their financial capability, manage their bank accounts and are also given practical help when it comes to things like benefit applications.

In order to successfully apply for funding under our Giving Strategy 2016-19, applicants must demonstrate how their work will contribute to one or more of the themes within the Trust's three new funding strands.

This application was eligible as a result of its fit with the following theme:

Funding Strand: Strengthening Communities Theme 2:  Supporting people and communities to find routes out of poverty

"When developing our Strengthening Communities strand, we became aware of the growing demand across Scotland for support around debt issues. Across all our stands, we are particularly interested in supporting proactive projects which seek to tackle issues early and increase skills and knowledge, negating the need for dependency on crisis provision. Rutherglen and Cambuslang CAB’s Money and Welfare Advisor has a vital role to play in preventing individual’s financial situations from spiralling out of control and raising awareness of available resources. This kind of early intervention approach is a perfect fit  with the aims of Strengthening Communities and it was particularly pleasing to see an award like this going to a first-time applicant.”

Lesley Macdonald, Head of Giving