A VITAL service in the Maldon district has had its future secured after being awarded two major funding streams.

Maldon & District Citizens Advice has announced good news which has secured the future of the much-needed advice service.

Maldon District Council have awarded a contract to Citizens Advice to continue providing general advice on all subjects for the next three years - with the opportunity to extend this by a further three.

This includes both telephone and face to face interviews and bosses say this is the "essential foundation" on which to build all additional services.

It continues a history of support to residents going back to 1985.

The service has also announced more good news as the National Lottery Community Fund have provided an extension grant to cover five more years.

Through this project Citizens Advice is able to give specialist advice to clients with complex problems.

Lucy Bettley, Maldon Citizens Advice Bureau manager, said: "These two major funding streams, together with additional grants from charities, trusts and donations which provide for our weekly outreach surgeries and home visits across the District, allow Citizens Advice to provide a cohesive and full service to help all residents find a way forward.

"At a time of change and uncertainty for residents, many needing guidance on a wide variety of issues, Citizens Advice is grateful to all of its funders, large and small for providing the means with which we can give this vital help, through free, confidential advice."

Last year the Maldon advisers - most of who are volunteers - helped more than 3,000 residents and their families with more than 9,000 issues.

They also gained additional income for clients of more than £2,000,0000 and had unmanageable debt written off for clients of more than £300,000.

For free, confidential and impartial advice contact the district's Citizen's Advice by calling 01621 875774, or email bureau@maldoncab.cabnet.org.uk.

You can also find advisers at:

• Burnham - Baptist Church Hall Thursdays 10am-1pm

• Southminster - United Reformed Church Tuesdays 9.30am-12pm

• Heybridge - Longfield Surgery, Bentalls Centre, Mondays 10am-12pm