Citizens Advice Bureau Celebrates 25 Years

logo-cab-printLater this month dozens of local community members who have served as volunteers at the Helensville Citizens Advice Bureau, will gather for a special lunch to celebrate 25 years of service in the wider Helensville area.
On 5 June 1991, the then Helensville Citizens Advice Service opened its doors for the first time after many months of consultation, funding applications, recruitment drives and training. Two years later it officially became part of the NZ Association of Citizens Advice Bureau and could legally call itself a “bureau.”
Helensville local Dawn Bayliss, was an active member of the initial setup team, and a quarter of
a century on, still volunteers at least once a week.
She says the biggest change in the last 25 years has been the introduction of computers. In the early days she worked as Information Officer, writing out filing cards by hand with up to date contact information about the various services and organisations available. She recalls in those frantic few weeks before the bureau opened, she “didn’t see my dining room table for weeks because it was covered in information cards.” Now though, all that updating is done online and the Citizens Advice Bureau volunteers have an extensive database at their disposal.
Dawn also says people, especially the elderly, are much more willing to ask for help than they were back in the bureau’s early days. Proof of that is in the fact the bureau has seen a steady increase in monthly inquiries, as people ask for help with anything from tenancy issues, to budgeting, to help writing a CV.
On June 21, Dawn will join other current and past volunteers and their partners at a special birthday lunch at the Helensville RSA. For further information please call Rochelle Gillespie 021654610.

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