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Three new Citizens' Advice offices in north Durham towns
THREE new offices are being opened in north Durham to help people deal with a range of problems.
A new Citizen's Advice centre will open at 77 Medomsley Road, Consett, from Tuesday, following £12,000 worth of investment.
Builders are currently working on premises on Church Chare in Chester-le-Street and it is hoped it will be open in June, following a £50,000 makeover.
Citizens Advice County Durham is also looking for suitable premises in Stanley and has a between £30,000-£40,000 to invest.
Neil Bradbury, chief executive of the charity, said: "All of the new offices will provide clients with a modern, easy to access and friendly place to come for free advice.
"It used to be that CABs were tucked away above shops. That is not good enough and we can provide a better offer for clients with these new premises."
The funding has come from various sources including the Department of Health, Durham County Council, the Community Foundation in County Durham and various councillors' funds and funding from area action partnerships.
Neil Bradbury added: "In terms of Consett and Stanley the need for these premises is urgent as we don't have our own offices in these towns.
"In Chester-le-Street, the new office will hopefully make a whole world of difference providing access for those with mobility problems.
"We have great offices in Seaham and other towns and it has been about upgrading so they are the same standard."
Last year almost half of the 20,000 people turning to Citizens Advice County Durham (CACD) needed help with benefits with 29 per cent of clients struggling with debt.
The charity, which helps thousands of residents get access to millions of pounds of extra income each year, is hoping to recruit over 300 volunteers.
Mr Bradbury said: "We have people come to us wanting advice about managing their budgets or consumer rights to those who have reached crisis point.
"We are the main advice service in the county and we are free and confidential for all. People can come to us about anything and talk it through."
For more information about CACD, its opening times or to volunteer email firstname.lastname@example.org or search Citizens Advice County Durham on Facebook.
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