Press Release: Citizens Advice 80th Anniversary

More people turning to Citizens Advice as the service marks its 80th year

Coventry Citizens Advice reveals welfare benefits was its top local issue last year, with 8,931 people turning to its advisers for help.

Citizens Advice is celebrating 80 years of service across England and Wales on 4 September 2019. The charity was formed at the onset of World War II. It originally helped people deal with the impacts of war, such as rationing, evacuation and losing their home in the Blitz. In its 80 years of service, the organisation has helped the British public find a way forward with a wide range of problems.

Across England and Wales, Citizens Advice helped 100,000 more people this year compared to last, with a total of 2.7 million people helped by the charity and its network.

The charity’s national impact report shows the number of people seeking advice face-to-face, via email, phone or webchat in the 2018-19 financial year:

  • Consumer and utilities: 930,000 people, up 11% from last year
  • Benefits: 740,000 people, up 4% from last year
  • Debt: 380,000 people, up 2% from last year
  • Housing: 260,000 people, up 3% from last year

Of the people the charity helped, 42% of people reported they had a long-term health condition or disability.

In 2018-19, for every £1 invested in Citizens Advice, the charity generated at least (at a national level):

  • £2.07 in savings to government and public services – a total of £485 million in savings. This is by helping stop problems occurring or escalating which reduces pressure on public services like health, housing or out-of-work benefits
  • £10.92 in wider economic and social benefits – a total of £2.6 billion in savings. This is by solving problems that improve lives through better wellbeing, productivity and participation for the people we help.

Kate Algate, Chief Executive, Coventry Citizens Advice, said:

“We are incredibly proud to mark 80 years of providing free, independent and confidential advice for people across England and Wales.

“Locally, we are committed to helping as many people as we can so they can find the knowledge and confidence they need to move forward, whoever they are and whatever their problem.

“We’re here for anyone who needs free, impartial and independent advice.”

 -ends-

For more information contact: Kate Algate, CEO

Tel: 02476 252001

Out-of-hours contact number: 07535 323138

We give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem.

Notes to editors:

  1. Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  2. Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.
  3. We helped 2.7 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2018-19. And we had 29 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  4. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,600 service outlets across England and Wales.
  5. Citizens Advice is the largest provider of free, multi-channel debt advice. Providing that help gives Citizens Advice unique insight into the types of debts people struggle with.
  6. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.

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