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Disabled people helped by voluntary services

PUBLISHED: 11:12 29 September 2009 | UPDATED: 08:36 01 August 2010

VOLUNTARY services that give advice to disabled people in Suffolk have helped them to claim £5m in the last year, new figures show.

And it is believed that much of this money could be helping to boost the local economy during the recession.

VOLUNTARY services that give advice to disabled people in Suffolk have helped them to claim £5m in the last year, new figures show.

And it is believed that much of this money could be helping to boost the local economy during the recession.

Suffolk's Advice Services, which include DIAL Lowestoft and Waveney, provide advice on disability benefits and related issues.

Surveys show that much of that money is pumped into the local economy, as disabled people spend more of their income in their hometown or village than people without disabilities.

The other three disability advice services in Suffolk are Disability Advice Service (east Suffolk, based in Woodbridge), Optua Advice and Advocacy (west and mid Suffolk), and the Ipswich Disabled Advice Bureau.

Figures for the financial year 2008/09 published by Optua Advice and Advocacy show that in total the four services helped their clients to claim benefits worth £5.2m.

Graham Keeble, chairman of the Suffolk Committee of Disability Advice Services, said: “All of Suffolk's Disability Advice Services do a fantastic job helping disabled people. The figure of £5.2m in benefits gained by our clients is all money which disabled people can then spend within the county on goods and services so in a time of recession its good news for the economy as well.”

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