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Last Updated: Monday, 21 March, 2005, 01:22 GMT
Advice aims to avoid debt crisis
Citizens Advice Bureau office in Musselburgh
The Musselburgh office is one of seven taking part in the scheme
Vulnerable people are to be offered one-to-one help in a bid to head off potential financial problems.

The two-year project, backed by 500,000 in government funding, is being launched at seven frontline Citizens Advice Bureaux on Monday.

Experts will target groups of people including the homeless, ex-offenders, lone parents and low-income families.

They will receive help in dealing with potential crisis points, such as when young people leave care or start work.

The project will also assist homeless people as they get their first tenancy, former prisoners leaving custody and lone parents having a baby.

The people targeted also include those with disabilities, mental health problems and literacy or numeracy problems.

PILOT PROJECT BUREAUX
Airdrie
Angus
Dumfries and Galloway
East Dunbartonshire
East Renfrewshire
Haddington
Musselburgh

Kaliani Lyle, the chief executive of umbrella body Citizens Advice Scotland, said "The pilots will be run by experienced project officers.

"What they will offer clients is not reactive advice-giving but financial training in both one-to-one and group work sessions - help that will hopefully pre-empt the need for crisis money advice later on."

The bureaux involved will work in partnership with other agencies such as health boards, credit unions and specialist charities.

Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm said: "We want to promote good financial knowledge and to create an environment which lets people take better control of their finances and their lives.

"In working with Citizens Advice Scotland, we are developing innovative approaches so that, whatever people's circumstances, they can manage their finances in an informed way to suit their situations."

Last year Scotland's 77 CAB offices dealt with debt totalling 130.5m, making it the single biggest issue to be handled by its workers.


SEE ALSO:
Citizens advice conference begins
18 Aug 04 |  Scotland
Scottish debt 'at record levels'
04 Feb 04 |  Scotland
Fears over debt crisis
20 Aug 03 |  Scotland


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