Charity help thousands through ‘tough times’

Stuart Hellon (third from left) with some of the volunteers and staff at Boston Citizens Advice bureau. GG
Stuart Hellon (third from left) with some of the volunteers and staff at Boston Citizens Advice bureau. GG

ONE organisation in Boston has helped 6,500 people in the previous year alone – but rarely gets recognition for being a charity itself.

Boston’s Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) helps people with concerns in a variety of areas, from money matters, housing and benefits to relationships.

It has recently appointed a new chief executive officer Stuart Hellon who is keen to raise the organisation’s profile and boost volunteer numbers.

“For many people we are their last port of call as they have nowhere else to turn,” said Stuart. “Last year alone the Boston branch helped 6,500 people through tough times – more than any other bureau in Lincolnshire.”

Boston CAB say that around a third of the cases they deal with relate to financial concerns.

“Whether it’s offering advice about dealing with a relationship breakdown, domestic violence or keeping the bailiffs from the door – we operate at a level where we are dealing with people’s real lives and the advisers do hear some real horror stories.” said Stuart.

CAB advisors can refer people to other organisations – with some relationship concerns going to Relate – which is conveniently located in the same building.

Situated in the Len Medlock Voluntary Centre, in St George’s Road, Boston CAB currently has 19 volunteers and 14 paid staff, including specialist case workers – but they are now looking to double their volunteer numbers.

Stuart said: “We deliver a valuable service to the community but Boston CAB, like every CAB branch, is an independent charity and have to apply for grants from local government.”

CAB volunteers can become general advisers who initially see people and can help them or refer them to one of the specialist case workers. Roles are also available in admin, marketing, PR, website design and reception.

Stuart said: “Volunteers get free training and many find it very rewarding – it also looks very good on their CVs.”

For more information or to volunteer for Boston CAB call 01205 315915.