Braintree, Halstead and Witham Citizens Advice Bureau have trained a new team of advisors to meet increased demand for help and advice.

The charity has increased the number of volunteers staffing its telephone helpline and used funding from Greenfields Community Housing Association to hire specialist disability benefit advisors.

The new advsiors will be able to make home visits to people who are too unwell to attend an office.

Last year Braintree residents claimed more than £345,000 in benefits to help them with increased living costs after receiving home visits.

Linda Steer, operations manager, said: “We were very concerned that we were losing funding for this and being a charity we are dependent upon grants and support from local agencies.”

The helpline is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Thursday and from 10am to 1pm on Friday and the number is 0844 4994719 or 0300 4568385 if ringing from a mobile.