A VITAL community advice centre needs more staff and more room because of the rising number of cases it is dealing with.
The Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre in Ashhurst Way helped 1,619 people from April 2011 to March 2012, up from 1,489 from April 2010 to March 2011.
Staff have already helped 931 people between April and August this year.
The centre provides confidential and free advice to people in Rose Hill about debt, budgeting, benefits, mortgage payments and other financial concerns.
Centre director Carole Roberts said: “We are seeing more and more local people coming through our door who urgently need help to deal with debt and other financial problems.
“Although we are grateful for financial support from local councils and other sources, we really need additional funds to make sure we can keep up with rising demand.
She added: “I think people are finding it more difficult to manage their money.
“It is about money management and the fact that benefits are being cut and people are unemployed now, it is a big problem. We are struggling at the moment and we need another member of staff – but there is no money.”
Staff at the centre have organised a fundraising walk on Saturday and are encouraging other walkers to join them.
Mrs Roberts said: “I hope we will have a good turnout for our fundraising walk this year and raise much-needed funds.”
She said the money raised from the walk will help towards the cost of a new £4,500 interview room for the centre.
The walk starts at the church hall in Church Way, Iffley, at 2pm and will follow a route taking in the Thames towpath Donnington Bridge, Magdalen Bridge and Folly Bridge.
A shorter route is available for those with limited mobility and small children.
To take part contact Helen Foreman at firstname.lastname@example.org or the advice centre on 01865 438634.