Battle to revive Manchester advice service

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 21, 2009

Salford’s Citizens Advice Bureau has suspended a service providing “sensitive and informed” guidance to Jews after losing lottery funding.

The head of the bureau is in discussions with Salford City Council in an effort to revive the Jewish Outreach Project, which offered advice surgeries at Jewish venues, such as The Fed and Agudah Community Services.

Advisers were recruited from the Orthodox community to raise awareness of social services among Charedim who were not accessing their benefit entitlements.

The Fed has referred over 100 clients to the service in four years and says its demise will impact on those applying for disability benefits, as well as people with financial problems. “It also puts extra strain on our social workers, who will be spending time filling out complex forms,” said referral officer Victoria Morris. “It’s a real loss to us.”

Chief officer of the Salford bureau Tom Togher has pledged to continue lobbying for funding for the “highly valued and nationally unique advice service. It ensures that people can get access to a whole range of statutory and other services. We are particularly concerned at these very difficult economic times that this community will be disproportionately affected.”

Last updated: 3:40pm, May 21 2009