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Chance to help defeat rogue traders

Friday, 25th February 2011.

Volunteers across Suffolk are being encouraged to join the Consumer Champion Network, a new initiative created by Suffolk Trading Standards.

Consumer champion volunteers will act as a bridge between Trading Standards and the local community, making it easier for people to access information about consumer protection and to build resilience against rogue traders and scams.

Volunteers can choose to receive email updates on the latest news and scams in Suffolk. A more active role in the network is also available, with two levels to the scheme developed to account for varying needs and commitments.

At level one, volunteers will receive basic training that is provided to all members, as well as access to educational documents, posters and leaflets to disseminate within their local community.

At level two, in addition to basic training, volunteers will have refresher training twice year, as well as access to a range of literature and training manuals. Volunteers will have the opportunity to give talks and run events at local community centres and libraries.

On Tuesday, John Goodwin, county councillor for Felixstowe and the Trimley villages, became the first person to sign up as a consumer champion. He said; “I am delighted to be involved with such an innovative and beneficial scheme.

"The training gives a fantastic grounding in trading standards law. I would encourage anyone interested to sign up – the more people that get involved, the more we can tackle rogue traders and scams across the county.”

Cllr Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for public protection, said; “Becoming a consumer champion is a chance to make a difference to your community, signpost them to the relevant help and resolve their problems. It can also improve understanding of basic trading standards law and enhance future employability.

"We would urge anyone interested to contact Suffolk Trading Standards on 01473 265822 for further information.”

Alternatively, an application can be filled online by following some easy steps on www.suffolk.gov.uk/consumerchampion.

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