Citizen’s Advice start new Creggan outreach

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A new initiative between Creggan Community Care and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau starts on Monday.

Organised by Creggan Community Care (formerly Neighbourhood Assist) it aims to help people living in the area address concerns about a wide range of issues, including benefits, debt, law, welfare and employment.

The collaboration was the idea of the Creggan Community Care manager, Connie McAllister. Speaking to the ‘Journal’ he said, “Everyone here works on a voluntary basis and we noticed that a large number of our clients were requiring more in-depth services than we are currently providing.

“As a result, we contacted the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and they are now going to work alongside us three mornings a week.”

Having worked at the centre, known locally as the ‘Old Clinic’, for over ten years, Connie is well placed to see the need for extra advice and services. “There are people in Creggan who don’t know where to go for help and it is often the case that people put their heads in the sand instead of dealing with the problem, especially debt problems.

“I’m hoping that this new partnership will help those who really need the help.”

The ‘Old Clinic’ is run solely by Connie, Sister Teresa Mclaughlin and Lisa Palmer. They are all volunteers and are delighted to see the CAB come on board to help out.

Sister Teresa mostly spends her time in the community. She reflects, “Many of the elderly people I call in with wouldn’t know what they are entitled to, so it’s a great service to have on their doorsteps.”

Speaking on behalf of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, manager Jackie Gallagher said, “This new partnership will provide an outreach service that we currently provide in other areas of Derry. The Creggan Community Care team reached out to us as they felt local people needed vital, impartial and free advice in their own community.

“We are constantly updating our staff and systems with the latest information and legislation, so we are well placed to help those in need.”

“Our motto is ‘Where advice is free and peace of mind is priceless’. This reflects the service we provide and we’re hoping people will come along and avail of the service on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 9.30am.”

If you would like any further information about the new Citizen’s Advice Bureau sessions at the Creggan Community Care centre you can call the centre on (028) 71267119.