Citizens Advice Mid North Yorkshire has received funding to keep running an outreach service and rural advice bus in Richmondshire and Hambleton.
The organisation has announced that due to a £255,000 grant from the Big Lottery Community Fund, the outreaches across the two districts has been secured for a further three years.
The funding also means that a Rural Advice Bus which has been running a pilot scheme across Richmondshire since last summer, will now be able to expand into rural areas of Hambleton.
The bus, which was modified by a member of staff, voluntarily to help save money, comes equipped with two fully trained Citizens Advice advisers, two Ipads, and local information in the form of leaflets and posters.
Additional funding to support volunteers for the project has come from Richmondshire District Council, Hambleton District Council and North Yorkshire County Council.
The RAB currently visits Reeth Friday Market, Leyburn Friday Market, Middleham Key Centre, the Brompton-on-Swale Hub, Hudswell Community Centre and Tesco Catterick Garrison, each on a monthly basis.
The Rural Advice Bus has already helped 252 people with issues across Richmondshire. The timetable for the RAB in Richmondshire can be found here
The bus has also been working with other local organisations, such as the Fraud in the Marketplace event in Richmond alongside North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Trading Standards and local banks and has been loaned out to other local charities and organisations such as Age UK and Ex Forces Support.
The outreaches, facilitated by volunteers have proved crucial to people in rural areas, often where transport has become limited and who cannot get to the charity’s offices in Richmond or Northallerton.
In Richmondshire, the current outreaches are located in Colburn, Leyburn, Hawes and Phoenix House in Catterick.
In Hambleton the outreaches operate from Bedale, Thirsk, Easingwold, and Stokesley. Home visits are also available across the region for people who may be disabled or less able to get into the local offices or outreaches.
Carol Shreeve CEO of Citizens Advice Mid North Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to have secured a further three years funding for our volunteers and outreaches across Hambleton and Richmondshire.
“We would like to thank The Big Lottery Community Fund for, along with us, realising the importance of reaching out to rural communities across the region where transport links and accessibility to our services can often be an issue.
“We are very happy to be able to expand our Rural Advice Bus’s services to Hambleton after the success of our Richmondshire pilot.”
If you would like further information about the Rural Advice Bus, call Citizens Advice Mid North Yorkshires’ Communications Lead, Adam Matthews on 01748 823862 or visit https://citizensadvicehrs.org.uk/