Dalkeith & District Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB), based in Midlothian, received a grant of almost £30,000

In 2006, Dalkeith & District Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB), based in Midlothian, received a grant of almost £30,000 to fund its year-long Reaching Out project.

The initiative aimed to increase awareness of the advice services provided by the CAB within rural areas of Midlothian, specifically focusing on income maximisation.

Five remote areas were targeted, concentrating on families with young children who are on lower incomes, as well as the elderly. The project then assessed whether CAB services were required locally, and if so, in what form these should be delivered.

Reaching Out initially aimed to assist 100 individuals in the rural areas of Midlothian but after 12 months, nearly 300 vulnerable people had benefited from the initiative.

Irene Hutchison, Manager of Dalkeith & District CAB, said:

“Overall, we felt that Reaching Out was a success and we are now confident that people living in rural areas in Midlothian can easily access the services of CAB, should they require them.

“From the research carried out, 283 enquiries were received by us through individuals within the targeted areas, which was fantastic considering we initially aimed to help 100 people.

“Various community groups were targeted, such as community centres and nurseries, as well as play, church and pensioner groups, so that young families and the elderly in particular could be reached.

“We focused on villages such as Cousland, Pathead, Temple, Carrington and North Middleton & Borthwick, which are areas believed to have poorer transport links, therefore making travelling to towns for welfare rights services difficult.”

“We are extremely grateful for the funding provided by the ScottishPower Energy People Trust and are delighted with the outcome.”

Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’s Head of Corporate Responsibility and The ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s Company Secretary said:

“The Trust would like to congratulate the team at Dalkeith & District CAB for providing a vital lifeline to those in rural areas across Midlothian, who are struggling to access essential advice that could help in the prevention of fuel poverty.

“We know that over £9bn of state benefits is not being claimed by those who are entitled to it, so Reaching Out is crucial in helping people claim their allowance, which in turn provides a welcome boost in household income.”


Thursday, October 05, 2006