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Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice is an operating name of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux.

In 1939 Citizens Advice first started giving advice to help people manage the impacts of World War II.

From arranging evacuations to helping debt-laden pay day loan customers, the work of the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has changed dramatically since it was formed at the outbreak of the Second World War.

Tracing missing relatives, helping Blitz victims get back on their feet and handling rationing enquiries formed the bulk of the CAB’s workload after it was set up as an emergency wartime service.

The social revolution and new-found affluence of the 60s saw divorce and the fall-out from ‘buy now, pay later’ offers dominate its caseload.

Today, the volatile housing market, the rise of pay day loans and the aftermath of Brexit mean advisers are dealing with a whole new set of problems.

Citizens Advice is a network of local advice agencies that deliver high quality, free, impartial, confidential advice from 2,540 locations across England and Wales with 21,400 volunteers and 8,150 staff, providing support by telephone, email, webchat, via the website citizensadvice.org.uk and other media. Each local Citizens Advice office (LCA) is a member of Citizens Advice.

Citizens Advice is uniquely placed to comment on how people are affected by changes to legislation and provision of services. We do this by gathering evidence of problems experienced by clients and identifying emerging trends and, in this way, are able to influence change.

Citizens Advice helps millions of people every year. In 2019-20, this included:

  • 34,500,000 visits to our website
  • 1,344,000 people helped face to face
  • 1,010,000 people using our phone service
  • 483,000 people contacting our consumer helpline
  • 436,000 people getting help by email or webchat
  • 97,000 witnesses through the Witness Service

In 2019-20, Citizens Advice helped 2.8 million people in person, by phone, email or web chat. The advice website had over 34.5 million visits and the site had 54.5 million pageviews.