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Charity benefits from central location

PUBLISHED: 14:23 02 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:55 03 July 2010

A GREAT Yarmouth based charity is building on more than 20 years of giving help and advice to disabled people with a move to new premises.

The role of Dial (disabled information advice line) has expanded over time along with the number of volunteers - and more are needed.

A GREAT Yarmouth based charity is building on more than 20 years of giving help and advice to disabled people with a move to new premises.

The role of Dial (disabled information advice line) has expanded over time along with the number of volunteers - and more are needed.

Now the organisation whose main work centres on helping people get the right benefits, and access and advice issues, has new offices on the corner of Broad Row and George Street, and is already seeing a surge in client numbers.

Sue Taylor, project co-ordinator, said the town centre location gave the organisation a higher profile and enabled them to work closely with their fundraising charity shop a few doors down.

Also in the pipeline is a shop mobility scheme for Yarmouth, which has been left trailing by both Norwich and Lowestoft who already have one in place.

The move was prompted by a bombshell £10,000 rent hike - although the fallout has been all positive heralding a new era in a new space.

So far the charity has helped more than 600 people this year with the number of contacts rising all the time, thanks to the credit crunch which means more people are looking to maximise their income through benefits.

Most of Dials funds are generated through wheelchair and equipment loans and from the sale of good quality items at its charity shop.

Currently 20 volunteers are split between the office and shop and some like John Watt have been with the organisation for more than 20 years offering unpaid help. Ms Taylor said the contribution of people like John made up Dial's unique selling point - most of the advisors have disabilities themselves and so can understand the client's situation and ask the right questions.

Volunteers need to commit to at least four hours a week. In the shop tasks include sorting, displaying and pricing donated goods.

Unpaid work is also offered to anyone who is computer literate and can perform office tasks like typing, as well as to people with a knowledge of benefits to train as an advisor.

For further information call Dial on 01493 856900.

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