Criminal lawyer from Hitchin recognised for 14 years’ volunteering at North Herts CAB

Geraldine Couchman was given a certificate after volunteering at the CAB North Herts and District br

Geraldine Couchman was given a certificate after volunteering at the CAB North Herts and District branch for 14 years. - Credit: Archant

A criminal lawyer has been recognised for her volunteer work after helping people in need for more than a decade.

Geraldine Couchman from Hitchin has spent the past 14 years volunteering at the Citizens Advice Bureau North Herts and District branch but had her last day just before the turn of the year.

Advice services manager Roanne Mangham presented Geraldine with a certificate as a thank you for her long service.

She said: “Geraldine’s caring and professional attitude has been very much appreciated. Her contribution to the CAB has changed lives for the better.

“She has been a great ambassador for the Citizens Advice Bureau in Hitchin, Letchworth and Royston for the past 14 years and she will be sorely missed by all of us who work here and by the people she has helped in the community.”

Geraldine said: “Volunteering with the Citizens Advice Bureau has been so rewarding. I managed to fit it in around my work as a criminal lawyer and it was a great way to see the difference that the CAB makes to people’s lives.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years in terms of the kind of support that people need and, unfortunately, those changes are not always for the better.

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“People need the CAB now more than ever. Back when I first started it felt like a lot of the enquiries were really quite straightforward. They have become more and more complex lately, especially with the cuts to things like Legal Aid. We’ve seen some really sad cases coming through in North Herts.

“I live in Hitchin and I get a real buzz from knowing I’ve done something for the people in my own community.

“I would wholeheartedly recommend volunteering to anyone who is considering it. Local people need our advice and information as much as they ever did and we need their help in delivering it as well.

“The CAB provides an absolutely essential service to our local community, often the only port of call for those who need advice when they have nowhere else to turn.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the volunteering opportunities available contact Rosie Waters on watersr@nhdcab.org.uk.