A VITAL charity that provides advice and guidance on rights to Basingstoke residents has been awarded additional funding to help those in need.

The Basingstoke Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) which is based in the Discovery Centre, Festival Place, has been given £7,236 this year and an additional £14,472 for 2014-15.

The extra funding, which will be released from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s community support fund, will allow the charity to employ a dedicated person to provide support and answer telephone calls received during peak hours. The charity has experienced an increase in calls and is not able to answer all of these, leaving some residents unable to receive the support and advice they need.

During the months of April, May and June 2012, CAB dealt with 3,774 clients and this increased to 4,563 during the same months of 2013.

On a typical day in 2013, the charity received 395 calls and volunteers were only able to answer 86 calls, leaving 309 calls unable to be answered during the opening hours of 9am and 6pm.

Graham Hatcher, chief executive of the Basingstoke Citizens Advice Bureau said: “Not many people realised that we are a charity and like many other good causes, every penny counts.

“Money is tight so we appreciate the extra funds from the borough council.”