Volunteers from a Sheffield advice centre which escaped the axe have branched out to help more people battling debt.
Chapel Green Advice Centre in Chapeltown was facing closure last year after Sheffield Council cut its funding of £24,000 a year.
But an anonymous businessman stepped in at the last minute to save the vital service – which helps scores of people struggling with debt, benefits or other problems – by buying its building, but letting staff remain there.
And a year later volunteer Mick Appleby is now running extra sessions for residents in High Green twice a month.
He said: “We are still having to watch every penny and none of us get paid now, but we always said you don’t come into this job to get rich.
“We are still surviving on our donations tin – with the money we got from the building covering costs. We hope we can keep the centre going for another five years.
“It is great we are able to help more people in High Green too now with these sessions.”
Mick started running sessions at The Pavilion on Foster Way three months ago, after a request from the High Green Tenants’ Association – and provides the service for free.
The trial has now been extended and sessions are planned for two Wednesdays a month until the end of the year.
Mick, who has volunteered as an advisor for five years now, said: “The area is reasonably deprived, but the people here are very proud, so I do feel honoured they have asked me to go up there and help.
“It is only two hours at a time, but it can make a big difference to people who have these problems.
“I still have the same number of people coming to me with debt problems – if anything I seem to have got more over the past year.
“Some of the people at High Green sessions I have seen before at Chapel Green advice centre too.
“We are lucky to have a loyal database who know that, while we can’t work miracles, we will help people as much as we can.”
The sessions are to run in The Pavilion on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month.
In September, they will take place from 10am to noon on the 11th and the 25th of the month.
People can also call Chapel Green Advice Centre, based on Station Road, on 0114 245 3262 for help.