RESIDENTS of rural Dales communities can now benefit from vital support from Citizens Advice.

The Rural Advice Bus, part funded by Richmondshire District Council and the Big Lottery Fund, has been in service since August 2018 and has enabled residents to access free advice without the need to travel.

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 extensive local information in the form of leaflets and posters.

The bus has also been working with other local organisations such as the popular Fraud in the Marketplace event in Richmond alongside North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Trading Standards and local banks.

Simon Fisher, Rural Advice Bus manager, said, “We are very aware that some of our rural Richmondshire clients struggle to get into our Richmond office due to cuts in public transport and many do not have access to the internet and are becoming increasingly isolated. We have brought in this service to let people across the region know that we are there for them and if they cannot get to us, we will come out to them. This project has already proved successful as it helps rural clients on their journey to empower themselves to get to the root of their issue or problem through free, confidential and impartial advice without the possible inconvenience of having to travel too or wait for an appointment at the Richmond office.

The Rural Advice Bus will also be giving out free energy advice, information and goodies as part of Big Energy Saving Week 2019 on Thursday 24th January at Middleham Key Centre between 11.30am and 2pm, and at Tesco, Catterick Garrison on Friday 25th January between 10am and 1pm.

The current timetable for the Rural Advice Bus can be found here: Rural Advice Bus Calender .

Please note although every effort will be made to keep this timetable up to date, it may be subject to change due to adverse weather conditions or staff illness.

If you would like the Rural Advice Bus to attend an event or would like more information about the service please contact Citizens Advice Mid North Yorkshires’ Communications Lead Adam Matthews on 01748 823862.