New Citizens' Advice Bureau role
Staff at all of Merton's seven libraries, including Wimbledon and Colliers Wood, have a new role as Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) information centres.
It follows a partnership between Merton Libraries and Merton and Lambeth Citizens Advice Bureau (MLCAB).
As part of the initiative, Merton Libraries' staff and trained volunteers will provide initial information and guidance to residents on how to use the CAB's Adviceguide website, an online information hub.
The site provides a great deal of information and support for customers on a variety of different subjects including benefits, work, debt and money, housing, relationships, tax, health and education.
With IT help from library staff, customers will have access to information beyond normal CAB opening hours. Customers who need urgent help or who have more complex needs will be referred directly on to the CAB.
To mark the libraries' new service, a launch event was held in Morden Library with local residents, library staff and volunteers, as well as representatives from MLCAB.
Library users were given information about how the new service will work and what support they can now get from their local library. They were also given demonstrations on how to use the Adviceguide site.
Deputy Mayor of Merton, Councillor John Sargeant, said: "I'm a great admirer of our libraries and the Citizens' Advice Bureau and it's great to see them working together. Congratulations to Merton Libraries’ staff and volunteers and MCLAB for getting this partnership up and running, I’m sure it will be a great success."
Cabinet member for community and culture, Councillor Nick Draper, said: "Merton Libraries are central to our community and thrive on partnership, particularly with our wonderful volunteers and Volunteer Centre Merton. This new partnership with the CAB will provide essential support to many of the most disadvantaged people in our community as well as complementing the range of resident-focused services we already offer including health and wellbeing classes, skills building sessions and health information. I look forward to a long, happy relationship with Merton and Lambeth Citizens' Advice Bureau in the service of Merton's residents.”
Merton and Lambeth Citizens Advice Bureau’s Chief Executive, John Gillies said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Merton Libraries. Each one of the libraries offer community-focused services and are a perfect place for residents to get support on a range of everyday issues. If you have a question about benefits, education or tax, call in to your local library and they can help you with these issues and much more."
Pictured above are: Councillor Nick Draper, Deputy Mayor Councillor John Sargeant, Head of Library and Heritage Services Anthony Hopkins, and MLCAB's Chief Executive John Gillies at the CAB launch in Merton Libraries.
September 20, 2013