A VITAL advice service in the Wee County is expanding into the Hillfoots and Tullibody to provide its services closer to home, starting next month.

Clackmannanshire Citizens Advice Bureau's (CAB) outreach service has launched two fresh partnerships with development trusts in Alva and Tullibody.

Weekly drop-in sessions, which have netted £445,500 to clients in the first year of the project, will start in June to offer the usual advice and support on managing money, debts and benefits.

The service will start at Tullibody Civic Centre next Wednesday, June 5, and will be held every Wednesday thereafter between 10am and 12noon.

Drop-ins in Alva start the following day, Thursday June 6, at the Cochrane Hall between 2pm and 4pm and the same every Thursday going forward.

The CAB thanked Janette McGowan and Mary Laing from the development trusts in Tullibody and Alva, respectively, for their "encouragement and positive attitude" in bringing the partnerships about.

Janette, chair of Tullibody CDT, said: "We are delighted to support this much needed outreach service for our local community.

"Since Tullibody Healthy Living was closed last September, the most vulnerable in our community have been ignored.

"This will be a real boost to those most in need."

Mary, from ADT, added: "Alva Development Trust is committed to improving the lives of Alva residents, so we couldn't be happier to host the CAB outreach drop-in service.

"Their skilled advisors will provide much needed access to support for the residents of Alva."

No appointments will be necessary; however, those looking for help with sickness or disability benefit forms are asked to contact the CAB's Alloa office on 01259 219 404, as the complexity of these means they cannot be completed at the drop-ins.

Jonny Miller, managing director at Clacks CAB, said: "All local communities should have access to free and independent advice services and the residents of Alva and Tullibody can be proud of both trusts.

"It is through their willingness to work together in partnership that has allowed this much needed service to be established.

"The trusts are offering free access to their venues for this service and without this support we would not be able to operate the service."

The CAB is also working in partnership with a number of others including Home-Start, Reachout, Play Alloa, Hawkhill CC and more to provide direct access to an experienced adviser.