Airdrie Citizens Advice Bureau

The Citizens Advice Service in Scotland, which came into being at the outbreak of the Second World War, is being celebrated this week as the charity releases figures showing overall it dealt with more than one million issues for the second year in a row.  Since it was created three-quarters of a century ago, enquiries have changed significantly.  Bureaux have gone from helping people with evacuation and ration book queries to tackling problems with benefit issues, payday loans and rogue employers.  Nonetheless the service remains as valuable and important to communities as ever, and that is being recognised by top Holyrood politicians as they take to twitter to say thank you and #iamcitizen. 

Citizens Advice Scotland’s analysis of the year 2013/14 also showed that the organisation helped more than 330,000 people, or almost 1 in 13 adults in Scotland over the course of one twelve month period. In that same year, citizens advice bureau clients gained £125 million as a result of the good advice and help they received. 

And although issues have changed, the service’s value, ethos and special place at the heart of communities has not.  Just like in 1939, the service remains dependant on the good will and dedication of skilled volunteers. In 2013/14, nearly 2500 volunteers donated their time to the CAB, and if they were to receive the average wage for their time, it would cost £10 million a year.  Although CAB volunteers are equipped to help with queries as diverse as education and NHS concerns, over 64% of their work was concentrated on helping people with their benefits, tax credits and national insurance or debt. 


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