Happy 80th Birthday Citizens Advice
Citizens Advice celebrated its 80th birthday on Wednesday 4th September 2019. The charity was set up as the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) at the outbreak of the Second World War to help people with the dislocation caused by the conflict. In Newbury, a CAB was established in the main library to help residents deal with multiple challenges such as helping those bombed out of their houses to find accommodation and advising war widows how to claim a pension.
Eighty years later, Citizens Advice has developed into the UK’s largest independent advice provider. While Citizens Advice is best known as an advice-giving charity, its twin aim is to conduct research and to campaign to tackle the root cause of the issues that bring clients to us in the first place.
Citizens Advice was formed at a time of national emergency and its continued existence some eighty years later is testament to the ongoing need for a free, impartial, independent and confidential advice service to help people navigate life’s complexities. No-one else sees so many people with so many different kinds of problems, and that gives us a unique insight into the challenges people are facing today. Citizens Advice can take a holistic view of clients’ issues as we work across many issues from housing and homelessness, to employment advice, benefits, debts and consumer issues. Often a client comes to us with a series of interlinked problems, seeking advice on finding a way forward.
From its origins in 1939, each local Citizens Advice was established as an individual charity belonging to the national Citizens Advice network. Each local Citizens Advice has to raise its own funds in order to survive.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realise that CAWB is a charity rather than a branch of local or central government. Donations can be made in various ways listed on their website or via the Good Exchange.
Sue Mackie, CEO of Citizens Advice West Berkshire stated: “Citizens Advice is a fantastic organisation which has played such a key role in the West Berkshire community and I am proud to be a part of it. While CAWB’s location, name and logo may have changed, our ethos has not. We are committed to helping as many people as we can to have the knowledge and confidence to move forward, whoever they are and whatever their problem. We hope that CAWB will be around to deliver advice for everyone for the next eighty years.”