Citizens Advice has marked its 80th anniversary with a tree planting ceremony in Truro.
The tree was planted by the Mayor of Truro, Cllr Robert Smith and Citizens Advice Cornwall Chief Executive, Gill Pipkin, with local Citizens Advice volunteers and staff at St Georges Road.
The charity was established at the outbreak of the Second World War to help people with wartime regulations, temporary housing following bombing raids, rationing and welfare.
Since then, the organisation has continued to expand and meet increasing needs for advice on wide variety of issues, including debt, benefits, Universal Credit, employment issues, housing, family break-up and discrimination.
Gill Pipkin said:
“We are proud to have served the people of Truro and the surrounding area and helped them find a way out of their problems.
“We are also immensely grateful to our hundreds of volunteers from this area who have given their time over the years to contribute to their community.”
The Mayor of Truro, Cllr Robert Smith, said:
“Since its inception in 1939, the Citizens Advice Bureaux, (as it was then known), has performed a vital function, meeting the needs of people in desperate circumstances. Unfortunately, the level of need and degree of desperation for many people is just as bad now as it was then.
“Thanks to Citizens Advice many thousands of people have someone to turn to who can provide real support through contacts and advice. It is very sad that in our modern society we still need Citizens Advice just as much as we did in 1939. I do hope that people recognise the invaluable work that they do and help to promote them and assist with funding for the next 80 years.”
As part of the 80th anniversary celebrations, commemorative trees are also being planted in Saltash and Penzance.
Last year, across Cornwall, Citizens Advice saw 8,500 people and helped write-off £5.4 million in unmanageable debt. The charity also gained £3.4 million in income for people in the county, largely through unclaimed benefits.
Citizens Advice exists to provide free, confidential and independent help to everyone in the community.