SOLIHULL’S Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) says it is struggling to help people in need after volunteer numbers have fallen by 75 per cent in the borough.
The CAB added it is struggling to meet the increase in demand as there has been a rise in people seeking ways to cope with the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis.
Solihull CAB bosses say volunteers have dramatically decreased because of the Covid-19 pandemic and a shift in people’s priorities and lifestyles.
Some who volunteers lost their jobs during the pandemic and are now focused on getting back into paid work while others including the retired suffered as a result of the pandemic due to isolation, anxiety and illness, bosses added.
Last year the Solihull branch dealt with over 15,600 problems which ranged from mental health to loneliness, debt, housing and energy prices.
The CAB relies on volunteers to help deliver its free advice and support services.
Citizens Advice Solihull Borough’s chief executive, Kerry Turner, said: “The cost-of-living crisis has plunged many households into crisis, and we are often who people turn to for help when they are feeling desperate.
“It’s clear that the services we provide are now needed more than ever.
“To help more people through these difficult times, we urgently need to build our team of dedicated volunteers. Anybody can volunteer and the difference you can make to someone’s life is so incredibly rewarding.
“Not only do you perform a necessary and socially responsible role, but you will discover new things about yourself, meet new friends and maybe even find a new career.”
Solihull’s CAB has a range of volunteering opportunities available with a commitment of just six hours a week needed.
These opportunities can include providing advice and information, raising funds, research and campaigning, or simply talking to people over the phone.
Volunteers get access to training, support and opportunities to develop a variety of skills.
Stuart Bowen, is an adviser and has been a volunteer with the bureau for four years.
He said: “It’s the most rewarding and interesting role I have had throughout my career.
“My volunteering has helped me develop as a person, gain more confidence and meet some fantastic people from all walks of life.
“Every day I know I am making a real difference to someone’s life.
“I’m proud to be part of this iconic service and would encourage anyone who can to join our army of volunteers.”
Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Kerry on 0121 779 6707 or email [email protected]