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Who we are

Citizens Advice Cornwall is an independent charity and a member of the Citizens Advice Service.

We offer free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to individuals on their rights and responsibilities. As an organization we value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination. You can find us at nine main offices and at outreaches across the Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly – click here or on ‘Getting Advice’ in the menu above to find details.

Twin Aims

Our twin aims are to provide the advice people need for the problems that they face, and also to improve the policies and practices that impact on people’s lives, bringing issues and concerns which are common to large numbers of people to the attention of local and national government. To find out more about our past and ongoing campaigns, click here or on ‘Campaigns’ in the menu above.

Advice

Our general advice service is the bedrock activity of Citizens Advice Cornwall and is powered by our volunteers. This is delivered across Cornwall through our text and call back service and our local offices and outreach facilities. Each of our offices offers telephone advice, face to face Gateway assessment interviews and where needed face to face advice.

We also have a number of small specialist teams developed with partners to add value to their activities and to extend our services to a wider range of clients.

During the period 2014-2015 we were contacted by 16,000 clients. As part of our advice and guidance we helped clients gain £1,144,176 in one-off welfare benefit awards, a further £10,814,287 in on-going benefit awards, and we helped clients write off £4,199,795 of unmanageable debt.

Partners

We continue to maintain and develop links with a range of partners to tackle areas such as child poverty, family services, health issues, financial capability, community banking, housing and tenancies issues, debt and court representation.

More information about the organisations we work with is available here . . .

History

Citizens Advice Bureaux (as it was then known) began in 1935, but it was in 1938 when the world war was a looming prospect that the role was focussed on meeting the needs of the civilian population in wartime. The day after war was declared on the 3rd September 1939 the first 200 bureaux were opened across the country, this number increased to over 1,000 by 1942. Common issues included loss of ration books, homelessness and evacuations, missing relatives and prisoners of war.

After the war,  funding was cut and the number of bureaux was halved. The bureaux in Cornwall were closed at this time. The service continued thanks to charitable trusts at the time, and in 1972 the first Cornwall bureau was re-established. The service eventually grew to six independent Citizens Advice Bureaux charities, one in each of the district council local authority areas. In 2009, those six independent charities merged to form one Citizens Advice Cornwall. In 2014, the national service celebrated its 75th birthday.

Now the Citizens Advice Service operates from over 3,400 community locations across England and Wales, these are run by 360 registered charities, of which Citizens Advice Cornwall is but one. Each local charity is a member of the wider network. The central London office provides training, IT,  and operational support, and campaigns collectively on important issues.

Our Trustee Board

As a charity, Citizens Advice Cornwall is governed by a board of trustees, their names and a contact link can be found here

Governance

Please click here to view our governing document (Memorandum and Articles of Association)

Please click here if you would like to request a copy of the Citizens Advice Cornwall complaints handling procedure

Please click here to view our safeguarding vulnerable adults policy and here for safeguarding children policy

Click here for the AGM 2014 minutes, here for the report of the Trustees and Financials Statements for Year Ended 31 March 2015 and here for the Performance and Impact Report for 2014/15

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