Proclaimers back campaign to save community ‘lifeline’

The Proclaimers have added their support to the CAE.

The Proclaimers have added their support to the CAE.

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Leith’s most famous twins have given their backing to a campaign to keep a vital community lifeline in the area.

The Proclaimers have spoken out in support of a Crowdfunding plea to raise £20,000 to retain Citizens Advice Edinburgh (CAE).

Leith Bureau on Bernard Street helps thousands of clients every year thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers offering free advice.

But funding pressures have forced the independent charity to seek new premises, with a suitable office secured a mile away on Dalmeny Street.

The charity is now appealing to the local community to come together and get behind their efforts to raise £20,000 to help ensure that it is fully accessible and can meet the needs of more than 5,000 clients coming through their doors every year.

Charlie and Craig Reid said: “We’re right behind the Citizens Advice Bureau in Leith’s great endeavours in providing advice and support to those who need it and urge everyone to support the fundraising campaign.”

CAE help with more than 25,000 enquiries from people across Edinburgh every year and support clients to resolve more than 43,000 issues.

Among the most common issues are debt, employment, welfare entitlement and consumer rights.

Last year alone CAE supported clients in Edinburgh with debts totalling a staggering £4.25 million. 
But thanks to volunteers’ advice, clients made more than £3 million of financial gain though more affordable debt repayments plans, the settling of employment disputes and greater access to welfare entitlement.

The CAE says that austerity, welfare reform, and devolved powers to Scotland, means that clients across Edinburgh continue to need independent and impartial advice.

In the last year alone, the charity managed a two-fold increase in the number of citizens seeking advice about disability welfare entitlement, with nearly a third of their clients now being people with a disability.

CAE’s outreach work in hospitals, GP practices, food banks, housing associations and the Sheriff Court ensures that people in Edinburgh can access advice when and where they need it.

More information for anyone wishing to donate can be found at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/cableithfundraiser

john.connell@edinburghnews.com