THE client fund at Musselburgh Citizens Advice Bureau has been named in honour of its manager who has bid the town farewell after a decade in the job.

Yvonne Cassidy said that leaving the High Street bureau after 10 years was the “end of an era” for her.

“Saying farewell to Musselburgh CAB was always going to be difficult for me,” she said.

“I arrived at Musselburgh on January 5, 2011, to find that there was much to be done to build capacity within the service to meet the need of the community.

“East Lothian had a reputation for being one of the more affluent authorities in Scotland and I was surprised at the levels of deprivation and need on my arrival to Musselburgh.

“My first priority was to build the capacity of the bureau through funding and by bringing in additional staff and volunteers. The role was the most challenging and also the most rewarding of my working life.

“I was fortunate to be leading a wonderfully effective and committed team and supported by an excellent volunteer board of management.

“I would like to offer my sincere thanks to my team, board, funders and the people of East Lothian for providing me with the opportunity to realise my potential in the best and worst of times.”

Mrs Cassidy is due to celebrate her birthday today (Thursday), adding: “I am taking a sabbatical to spend much-needed time with family and, in particular, my new granddaughter Molly.

“I’m not quite ready to retire and will be looking to start a new chapter in my career in 2021.”

She enjoyed a socially distanced send-off at the High Street bureau when she was presented with cards and gifts.

The bureau’s client fund has now been named The Yvonne Cassidy Client Fund in her honour. Donations which are received are used to help clients who have nowhere else to turn.

Sarah Matthew, the bureau’s chief officer, said: “It’s a small pot of money and a discretionary fund. Examples of what we have paid for include bus fares, hot food and £5 for gas/electric.”

On behalf of the board of Musselburgh CAB, she stressed that all the staff and volunteers would “dearly miss” Mrs Cassidy, adding: “We thank her for her incredible dedication to CAB.”

She added: “Yvonne developed the service to the forward-thinking, inclusive organisation we see today and many clients will continue to benefit from this fund.”

The bureau gave a donation of £100 to the client fund as a tribute to her.

During her time at the helm, Mrs Cassidy welcomed the then Scottish Government Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman MSP on a visit to Musselburgh CAB to discuss its new report, which highlighted the “severe impact” Universal Credit (UC) was having on residents.

Along with Haddington CAB, the Musselburgh bureau launched ‘Universal Credit in East Lothian: Impact on Client Income’, which contained research taken from a snapshot of 134 CAB clients over a two-week period in relation to the UK Government’s new combined benefits payment.

Mrs Cassidy also oversaw the £100,000-plus refurbishment of the bureau.