IN this age of austerity it is increasingly challenging to secure money from the public purse for worthy causes.

There are many organisations – very often run by volunteers – that are doing stellar work in the community, often making a massive difference to people’s lives.

Citizens Advice York (CAY) is one of them.

The organisation has had to cut back its operation because of a funding crisis, reducing its regular advice sessions down from four days a week to two.

The organisation gives free advice to citizens on issues such as debt, rent and benefits. For many people in York, it has been a lifeline, enabling them to battle injustice, errors or navigate the complexities of our social security system.

With the current roll out of new benefit Universal Credit to people in York, the expertise of CAY staff is needed as much as ever.

That is why Labour councillors have been campaigning for the city council to give financial support to CAY to enable it to reinstate two drop-in advice sessions.

So far, some 1,500 members of the public have signed a petition to have the sessions reinstated.

This week, a decision will be made on whether to grant CAY extra funding.

Council managers are recommending a sum of £12,000 be granted to CAY to restore two half-day sessions for the rest of the financial year. Labour is pushing for a sum of £20,000 to fund the sessions for longer. CAY does important work for the people in York and deserves this financial backing.