Western Isles Citizens Advice Service put a total of £800,000 into the pockets of local people last year, by helping them to access benefit entitlements, unpaid wages and helping them to manage their debt more effectively - according to new figures published by the charity.

WICAS has also revealed that it saw 1378 clients over the year, with the vast majority of cases related to social security and debt. 

CAB Manager, Helen MacLean says, “We have always known that the work we do helps local people, and we see every single case as an individual battle to win. But it’s important to assess the overall value of that work. If we help one family to get compensation, and another to get a benefit they had been refused, these amounts of money add up over time.  And last year that total was £0.8m.

"That money is a lifeline for each of those individual families. But a lot of it also goes into the local community, into shops and businesses, buses and etc. It helps keep the families out of debt and it also keeps others in work. That’s a win-win situation if ever there was one.

"We are very proud of the work we do. And these figures are just for WICAS. There are 61 CABs across Scotland, each with similar records.  Remember too that all CAB advice is free and confidential, and that anyone can come and ask us about any issue and we will do our best to help you. You can contact us at 45 Winfield Way, Balivanich, telephone 01870 602421.”

These figures come as the national Citizens Advice service across Scotland reveals that it gave out one million pieces of advice last year, helping over 310,000 individuals gain a total of £120m.