Citizens Advice is celebrating 80 years of providing free, independent advice on a vast range of subjects to people throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The national Citizens Advice service was founded on 4 September 1939 – the day after World War II was declared. Since then, the service has become a trusted household name. Last year we helped more than 8,600 people with their problems in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly from nine offices and five outreach offices. We also help cancer patients in the county through our service with Macmillan Cancer Care at Treliske Hospital in Truro.
In Cornwall, thousands of volunteer advisers have helped people find a way forward by giving trusted advice and information on debt, benefits, housing, discrimination, work problems and relationship breakdowns.
The national charity was formed at the onset of WWII and originally helped people deal with the impacts of war, such as rationing, evacuation and losing their home in the Blitz.
The government and the National Council for Social Services had been discussing the formation of a network of offices, run by volunteers, for some years to help guide people through the planned welfare state. The outbreak of war meant plans were speeded-up and by the end of the war there were more than a thousand bureaux across the country.
Citizens Advice Cornwall chief executive, Gill Pipkin, said:
“Although many of the issues we dealt with 80 years ago have changed, people’s need for reliable, independent advice and information and is just as strong as ever.
“As we look ahead, we’re continuing to adapt the service to changing needs in society. Although we’ll always provide face-to-face advice, we also provide assistance over the phone and increasingly through webchat.
“We’re also looking at more convenient locations where we can give advice through outreaches at village halls and doctors’ surgeries in the future.
“As we enter our 80th year I’d also like to pay tribute to the thousands of committed volunteers and staff who have helped us provide this invaluable service which remains free of charge to everyone in Cornwall.”
Citizens Advice operates from offices across the county at Saltash, Liskeard, Truro, St Austell, Bodmin, Newquay, Falmouth, Camborne and Penzance with outreach services in Torpoint, Callington, Launceston, St Columb Major and St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly.