A man told how he lost his job he racked up tens of thousands of pounds in debt and was struggling to afford food and couldn’t afford to switch heating on.

David, from Glasgow, said he was advised to contact his local Citizens Advice Bureau to get help with his debt problem.

Citizens Advice Bureaus in Glasgow have helped more than 20,000 people with problems including debt, benefits, housing and energy bills.

The cost of living crisis is leading more people to be struggling with bills and income.

Eight bureaus across the city are helping people maximise their income to ensure they have all the benefits they are entitled to and paid at the right amount.

David, a Glasgow North West CAB client, said:“After the pandemic I had lost my job after having been with the company for 18 years.

"For a while I didn’t have a penny, until I recently found another job at half my original salary.

“It has been horrendous. I was feeding myself one week and starving myself the next to make ends meet. Sitting in one room wearing three layers of clothes to keep warm because I couldn’t afford to put the heating on.”

“During this time I build up debt of nearly £35,000. I couldn’t sleep, worrying about how I would pay this back. I remember thinking there was no way I could pay it all.”

He said a friend told him to contact Glasgow North West CAB, and told him they had contacted them before with a similar problem and received help.

David added: “I spoke to someone who referred me to the debt specialist, Audrey.

“I felt embarrassed because it’s such a sensitive issue but Audrey put me right at ease, reassuring me that she was here to help.

“We looked at my options and decided the best route was bankruptcy, we applied for bankruptcy and Audrey contacted a charity for help paying the fee.

“Audrey kept me updated the whole way – getting in touch every couple of days before my bankruptcy was finally granted.

“She was fantastic from start to finish. If Covid-19 didn’t exist and I could give her a hug I would. For the first time in six months I had a good night’s sleep.

“It’ll be hard to build back up but I know I will get back on my feet. I feel a lot better knowing I won’t get an email or a call or have to worry about how I’m going to pay back the debts. I’d recommend my local CAB to anyone.”

There are Citizen’s Advice Bureaus in Bridgeton, Castlemilk, Central, Drumchapel, Easterhouse, Glasgow North West (in Maryhill), Greater Pollok and Parkhead.

Last year they helped with 4000 children living in poverty and 3200 adults in poverty.

On average advisers assist clients with five different issues, working mainly ion areas of the city with the highest levels of deprivation.

Frank Mosson, Bridgeton CAB Manager, said: “As local charities the eight Glasgow CABs gained over £14million for 20,000 people in the last year through unclaimed benefits and debts managed.

“We support people in many areas of their lives and have seen an increase in energy, food, immigration, employment and housing cases in recent months.

“Over half the families and individuals we help are in the lowest income brackets or living in poverty.

“Our support is providing a lifeline for Glasgow-based individuals and families.”

Another client, Maria, a mother of four school age children, worked part time and had £200 a week income.

Glasgow North West CAB helped her apply for a crisis grant for essential items for her an her children.

Her adviser is also helping with a Universal Credit appeal after she was refused on not meeting ‘Habitual Residency’ grounds.