PEOPLE in the Wee County had the chance to take a peek behind the scenes at Clackmannanshire Citizens Advice Bureau recently.

Celebrating 50 years of free advice, the CAB opened the doors of its new Glebe Hall office, located just behind the JobCentre Plus, on Wednesday, January 24.

It was an opportunity to save money through free energy checks and managing director Jonny Miller was keen to highlight what the service was all about.

Delivered by an experienced team of volunteers and staff, the frontline drop-in service deals with more than 130 enquiries a week.

Thanks to funding from various sources, a range of other projects are also being driven forward.

The welfare benefits team can carry out checks and appeal decisions to maximise people's income.

There is debt assist, local council tenants can get help with rent arrears while the criminal justice team aims to help those who have been involved with the legal system.

Several projects focus on energy related issues – and until the end of March, people can drop in to the energy clinic on Friday afternoons between 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

Assistance is also available to the users of NHS on their rights and responsibilities.

And then there is the outreach service, visiting housebound people in their homes.

Mr Miller was keen to highlight every case is a process, and the local CAB has to follow the requirements set out by Citizens Advice Scotland and the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

Complying rigidly with data protection legislation, staff and volunteers need to record clients' contact details and everything is securely kept on file as things progress.

The backbone of the CAB are its dedicated volunteers who make up about 70 per cent of the full compliment.

Last year they assisted around 5,000 people in over more than 10,000 visits and resolved close to 14,000 issues, pumping around £1million back into the local economy.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the CAB's Séverine on 01259 219 404, with free adviser training set to start on Monday, February 19.

The open evening was attended by dozens of interested people and local partners. Thanks is given to Asda, Bayne's and Morrisons for donations of food.