Citizens Advice Bureau awareness week: Hastings team here to help – NZ Herald

Mary Simonsen has been helping people answer an eclectic variety of questions with Hasting CAB for four years.

When was the last time you called a CAB? A Citizen Service Office, that is. March 20-26 is National Citizens Advice Bureau Awareness Week.

The Citizens Advice Bureau, commonly known as CAB, is a national community organization with local offices across the country. During Awareness Week, offices across the country will be doing what they can to make sure their communities know they’re there for them.

Hastings office manager David Gerbault said: “We want to make sure everyone knows we are a place they can come to for information and advice.”

CAB offers free, confidential and independent information and advice to anyone, and helps people know what their rights are and how to access the services they need.


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CAB volunteer Mary Simonsen said she couldn’t believe how much she had enjoyed her four years volunteering at the Hastings CAB office.

“Not only have I learned a lot, but the other volunteers have been great to spend time with and solve problems with.”

Simonsen admitted that he had no idea what kind of issues he would help with when he started with CAB, and today’s consultations were much more complicated, with mostly consumer and legal rights, relationship law and employment issues.

“Fortunately, the systems available to me as a CAB volunteer make it easy for me to provide accurate and up-to-date information. I don’t have to pretend to be an expert, and I enjoy the collaborative atmosphere in the Hastings office,” said Simonsen.


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While the CAB is there to help the community, they are also looking for community members to join the volunteer team.

“We also want everyone to know that if they enjoy learning, have great listening skills and have a few hours off each week, volunteering with us could be just what they’re looking for,” Gerbault said.

“Our rosters are very flexible and accommodate the other interests of our volunteers.”

For more information call CAB Hastings on 06 878 0525 and/or CAB Napier on 06 835 9664.

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