Migrant advice service is forced to close for month

Thetford News

Thetford News

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An advice service for migrants will have to close until August due to lack of funding.

Thetford’s Keystone Development Trust’s META advice service will become part of the lottery funded Breckland Advice Project, in partnership with Dereham, Watton and Holt Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) in August, but will close until then.

Robyn Challis, Keytstone’s META manager, said: “We’re 85 per cent self-sufficient as an organisation but to run the advice service we have relied on external funding, which is ending. We don’t have the money to keep it going.”

But the partnership, with £319,000 from the Big Lottery Advice Transitions Fund for two years, means the service can continue with META staff expected to join CAB staff in August. Keystone’s staff speak Portuguese, Polish, Lithuanian and Russian.

Ms Challis said: “We are excited by the ‘one stop shop’ aspect of the project, which should make it easier for local people to use advice services, and receive an even higher quality service than before.”

Migrants in need of advice now should approach local CAB offices. Thetford CAB is at Breckland House, St Nicholas Street, on 01842 752777 and is open on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10am to 3pm. Brandon CAB is at 9a Market Hill, on 01842 811511, on the same days from 9.30am to 1.30pm.

META’s Stop Smoking Service for the migrant community will continue five days a week from The Limes on 01842 757346 and its English as a second language classes continue at Brandon and Thetford, with tutor Paula Mullane on 07795 977704.