More Fifers seeking support from Citizens Advice & Rights Fife

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Over 14,000 Fifers received advice and support from staff and volunteers at Citizens Advice and Rights Fife (CARF) last year.

The service provided over 51,000 pieces of advice and helped residents gain over £11.5 million in 2018/19.

The figures are revealed as CARF published its annual report last week.

Norma Philpott, the charity’s chief executive, praised the contribution made by volunteers: “Over 24,000 hours of volunteer hours were given last year without which the service couldn’t deliver to the extent it has.

“We are always looking for new volunteers and anyone interested in being part of our success should contact us and we can explain how our volunteering system works.

“CARF is one of the largest bureaux in Scotland and the contribution of paid staff and volunteers, complemented by on-going commitment from funders, ensures we continue to deliver positive outcomes”.

Pressures continue to grow on the service each year with more people turning to it for help and the team can see this demand increasing further as the impact of Brexit becomes clear and social security benefits transition from central government to the new Scottish Social Security Agency.

In the report, chairman Peter McTiernan said: “The demand for our service has never been greater and every day the staff and volunteers of CARF advise with empathy on the problems facing our clients.

“In recent times these problems have grown increasingly complex, demanding a greater degree of expertise, specialisation and efficiency than ever before.”

He added: “It is reassuring to know that far from being daunted by these additional challenges, our exceptional staff and volunteers will exercise great determination to deliver the best possible advice for our clients when and where it is needed.”

The work of CARF was highlighted by MSPs Alex Rowley and Annabelle Ewing during a debate in the Scottish Parliament to mark 80 years of the Citizens Advice service.