I went to a little function in the Bald Faced Stag with some old friends from the now closed East Finchley Advice Service. To give up your free time and dispense advice to those who need it is a great service to the public. We who gave the advice were unpaid, and volunteer driven. But we were well trained and delivered a high quality service to an excellent standard.
I was trained by my predecessor, Andrew McNeil in summer 2006 when on summer holiday from University. I couldn't do more than that summer for one reason or another, but it was my first introduction to casework, and a set of skills I find immensely useful today. Much of my work as a Councillor is casework driven, and it was good to be able to start my term of office with some experience to guide me. I would advise any aspiring Councillor to fund such opportunities.
But sadly, EFAS is no more. It was a brilliant service that literally helped thousands of people, coming from as far as Luton. I do sometimes see people I used to help, and in fact many of those who have nowhere to turn for advice now go straight to their Councillor. It is a real tragedy that the service was lost, and is unlikely to ever come back, but at least this evening I had a chance to see the people who have so selflessly improved the lived of others.