THE housing crisis in West Dorset will be the main focus at a charity's annual general meeting.

Bridport Citizens Advice has invited residents of Bridport to attend its annual general meeting (AGM) to not only hear about the housing crisis, but to also find out about the work the charity has done throughout the year.

Catherine Parker, the area manager for Shelter, the housing charity, will be the guest speaker at the meeting, which will take place at the town hall on Monday, July 16, starting at 7.30pm.

The subject of the talk will be, "Welcome to Dorset, where homelessness meets the perfect places to live."

Those present will also hear how in the year up to March, 31 2018, Bridport Citizens Advice helped more than 2000 people with around 5800 problems.

In the year, housing has overtaken debt as the second largest enquiry area reflecting increasing problems securing affordable accommodation and homelessness.

Bryan Brown, chairman of Bridport and District Citizens Advice, said: "It is absolutely right that we should be look at the local housing crisis.

"This is a beautiful area but for far too many people, finding a decent home at a price they can afford is proving a nightmare.

"Members of the public and interested parties or organisations are all welcome to attend our annual meeting and refreshments will be served afterwards."

In recent months, Citizens Advice has started regular advice sessions in Bridport Library to help cope with the extra workload that has been created by the introduction of Universal Credit.

These sessions are run by Andy Pennington and take place every Tuesday from 10am until midday.

This service is in addition to the general advice sessions held at the charity's offices in South Street every weekday from 10am until 3pm.

Additional advice sessions have been introduced in Lyme Regis, with Lyme Regis Medical Centre hosting the sessions on Mondays from 10am until midday alongside the regular sessions at St Michael's Business Centre on Wednesdays from 10am until 3pm.

In Beaminster, a session is being held by Citizens Advice every Thursday from 12.30pm until 3pm at the Yarn Barton Community Centre.

All advice offered is free, confidential and impartial, and anyone is welcome to attend even if they don't have an appointment.