Volunteers from Citizens Advice Bureau Helensville help clients with all sorts of information, referrals and issues.
These range from family and personal; housing and land; employment and business to finance and benefits; legal and Government; consumer, education and health categories.
In addition, a free budget clinic is available every Wednesday by appointment, JPs are here most days and volunteers photocopy, email and scan information for clients.
“There’s no rhyme nor reason or even a pattern to the questions we’re asked, but it certainly shows the diversity of need and want,” CAB Helensville manager Rani Timoti says. “I remember in my previous work at a local community newspaper I’d advise people to call the CAB as I knew the organisation delivered a fountain of knowledge. Since working here, it’s true! The CAB database is definitely our first port of call for everything we’re asked.”
The following is a range of client enquiry examples, upholding confidentiality principles:
* Calling Auckland Council to check if Muriwai Beach was open to near residents.
* Providing options when goods ordered online arrived but didn’t match the description and condition advertised.
* Writing a skills-based CV for a client for his prospective new employer.
* Advising about a neighbour’s drainage causing flooding on their property.
* Going through legal rights for casual employees and helping with their employment relationship problem.
* Providing a bus timetable to go to Hibiscus Coast.
* Referring a family to a South Kaipara counselling service and South Kaipara Men’s Trust.
* Warning about an online scam which relates to a victim of identity theft and the necessity of contacting the bank about money laundering.
“Such a list goes on and I’m astounded by the depth of some of these issues which our volunteers go into with active listening, open-ended questions and empowering clients so they have more options than what they originally came in for,” says Rani.
All are welcome to pop into our office at 16 Commercial Rd, Monday to Friday from 10am to 1pm. Or phone us on (09) 4207162 and leave a message, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website:www.cab.org.nz for more information, especially out of hours.