Ribble Valley Foodbank volunteer reveals fears for the future of Citizens Advice Bureau in Clitheroe as it's set to close by December 31

The team behind Ribble Valley Foodbank fears hundreds of vulnerable people will lose vital support following the closure of the Citizens Advice Bureau in Clitheroe.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The information service in Wesleyan Row, which provides free, confidential and impartial advice to residents about matters like money and housing, is set to close by December 31 because of a lack of financial help.

Some 377 people, including 121 children, have been referred to the foodbank from the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) since January last year. In turn, Joan Wrigley, a foodbank volunteer, says she regularly signposts struggling families to the CAB. But now she worries many households will be left feeling lost or without anywhere to turn for financial help.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Joan said: "It’s terrifying, especially for families. How are they going to manage? I just feel at this time when everybody is financially stretched and people need more and more help, it would be very sad to lose the Citizens Advice Bureau. It’s such an important facility and it’s free to people.”

Peter Simm, Ribble Valley Foodbank manager, with some of the volunteers.Peter Simm, Ribble Valley Foodbank manager, with some of the volunteers.
Peter Simm, Ribble Valley Foodbank manager, with some of the volunteers.

She added: "The foodbank is getting busier. This is my worry as we go into winter: more people are going to need help, including a lot who are working. I think it’s going to get worse. It’s scary, and with the heating crisis and everything getting more expensive, it’s worrying how many people are not going to put their heating on because they can’t afford to. There are parents out there who don’t eat because they’re feeding their kids first.”

Residents will be forced to travel to the Burnley or Blackburn CAB if the Clitheroe branch shuts down, says Joan, who added: “I don’t know what we’d do without it. We provide food, they provide advice. They are knowledgeable about so many things. But there won’t be enough places to send people for the help they desperately need.

"The staff can’t work miracles but they can give people a bit of hope.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Peter Simm, foodbank manager, said: “My fear is that hundreds of people will have to go elsewhere for advice, and there’s only so much other agencies can do. The Salvation Army does a fantastic job, as do other charities, but CAB is a conduit within the community and people won’t have anywhere else to go.”