A BUDDING law student who started volunteering for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau has become a key member of the team in Dorchester.
The Dorchester, Sherborne and District CAB is reliant on its dedicated staff and volunteers on delivering its valuable services and Louise Capaldi-Tallon has not taken long to make an impression.
Louise initially joined the CAB in Bournemouth on a work placement while she was studying for a law degree and was keen to use her skills to provide practical help for people who seek advice from the organisation.
She then joined the staff in Dorchester, working in a legal services position and has gone on to work in a number of roles.
Louise currently works as a supervisor and deals with specialist case work including benefits issues and those involving tribunals and appeals.
She is part of the CAB and Macmillan Cancer Support partnership project, which is in its fourth year and provides walk-in outreach services at Dorset County Hospital.
Louise said: “Cancer patients are not just having to cope with their illness and treatment.
“For many it means unexpected expense as well, such as the cost of travelling to hospital appointments and having to have extra heating at home.
“And they can lose income if they can’t work.
“They might need help for the first time in their lives – and at a particularly difficult time for them and their families. “Some of the scenarios are dreadfully sad but I’ve been involved with the CAB since I was 19 and the training and experience helps.
“I know the Bureau is a great support to people when they need it most.”
She added: “A lot of my Macmillan cases involve visiting clients at home so I travel round quite a big area of Dorset.
“Knowing that we are really helping people is extremely satisfying. And, of course, many people get well again.
“I really enjoy all aspects of the work.
“I am pleased to use my experience and knowledge to help people with a whole range of problems.”
Manager of the Dorchester, Sherborne and Districts CAB Daniel Cadisch said: “Typically, people who work for the bureau or get involved as volunteers come to the CAB after doing other things – many have retired from their careers.
“Louise is our youngest member of staff and is very much a vital part of our team.
“Clients speak highly of Louise for her advice and for her helpful, pleasant manner at a difficult time in their lives.”