STAFF and volunteers at Citizens Advice Dudley Borough are celebrating after the organisation was granted a bumper £4,000 grant to help disabled clients – all thanks to the Dudley News.

The organisation, which gives impartial advice to tens of thousands of people across the borough every year, was given the money thanks to the Gannett Foundation, the charitable arm of the company that owns Newsquest titles including the Dudley, Stourbridge and Halesowen News.

The money will fund the creation of a disabled access toilet at the organisation's headquarters’ in Stone Street in Dudley.

It will help the 40% of people across the borough who use the service who live with a disability or a long term health condition, some with continence issues.

Steph Smart, Business Development Manager, said: "The funding that The Gannett Foundation has awarded Citizens Advice Dudley Borough is vital to our new Dudley town centre service as it provides an essential facility that will present a lasting benefit to an ever increasing number of disabled people including our workforce of paid staff and volunteers and the public who use our service.

"It will provide a safe, hygienic, accessible facility and demonstrates our commitment to social inclusion and equality."

The £4,000 grant was one of 50 given away by the Gannett Foundation this year, amounting to £300,000 given to good causes across the UK.

Stephanie Preece, editor of the Dudley, Halesowen and Stourbridge News, went along to the CAB’s headquarters in Dudley to hand over the cheque.

“I am delighted to be able to hand over this money to such a great cause, which does so much good work across our borough,” she said.

“The CAB Dudley is a vital service that is there when people most need its help and advice. To help so many people with such a diverse range of problems whilst operating as a charity is amazing.

“We hope this money will help even more people access this wonderful service.”

Citizens Advice Dudley Borough is an independent charity founded in 1939 to give free, confidential, impartial advice, information and support to some of the most vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalised people in society.

Thanks to the efforts of the centre's 32 members of staff and 49 volunteers, vulnerable people across the borough are supported, listened to and the quality of their life is improved.

The team deal with a range of issues including benefits, housing, legal advice, relationships and financial capability.

In 2016/17 the team addressed £7million worth of client debt, brought in £15.665 million of benefits to clients and prevented 535 people from being made homeless.

In the last year, it has given advice and information over the telephone and/or face to face to 16,676 people and addressed 42,613 advice issues.

The charity also campaigns on issues both locally and nationally through its Research & Campaigns Team.

The Gannett Foundation provides funding to support projects in areas where Newsquest operates. Over the past ten years, the Foundation has awarded grants across the country totalling £4 million.