The valuable role of CAB advisors

Acklington WI

The President extended New Year greetings and welcomed speaker Tessa Sayers, who gave a very informative presentation on the work of the Citizens’ Advice Bureaux (CAB) and her role as a general advisor.

Tessa outlined the process of becoming a voluntary advisor, taking six to 12 months of training and self-study.

From its inception in 1939, when it opened with 200 bureaux, the CAB now operates in 3,000 locations, funded by 300 charities, with some 20,000 volunteers. They provide face-to-face and telephone advice to two million people, referring to subject specialists when appropriate. There is also a website at

Working on four basic principles — that advice is free, confidential, impartial and independent — the CAB covers a range of family issues and social and legal rights. It provides training, keeps up to date with changing regulations and takes a proactive role in lobbying for improvements. It works with other providers, such as debt advisors and Macmillan.

There are bureaux in Morpeth, Alnwick, Berwick, Hexham, Blyth and Ashington. Our nearest drop-in facility is in Druridge Bay Community Centre in Hadston Shopping Centre on the first Wednesday of each month, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

The evening continued with the business agenda. The President announced some changes to the committee. She reported on a wreath making workshop, Christmas hamper raffle and table-top sale, all of which had provided a boost to funds.

Forthcoming events were discussed, namely the Carpet Bowls Competition in March, Ringtons’ Craft Competition in May and the Acklington WI entry for Warkworth Show in August.

Acklington once again has the opportunity to send a delegate to the AGM in Brighton next June and members were asked to consider whether they wished to be considered. Voting papers were collected for the Resolution.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 9, at 7.15pm, when David Carr will be speaking on A Day in the Life of a Grocer.