About Chelmsford Citizens Advice Bureau

4 in 10 people will use a Citizens Advice Bureau at some point in their lives.

With a Citizens Advice Bureau in the community people always have somewhere to turn to in times of crisis.

We aim to:

- Provide the advice people need for the problems they face.
- Improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.

We value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination.

Established in 1939 as an emergency war service, the Citizens Advice service has developed into the UK’s largest independent advice provider.

Chelmsford Citizens Advice Bureau offers information and advice through face-to-face, phone and email services, and online via Adviceguide.org.uk. We assist with wide ranging issues including debt, welfare benefits, employment, housing and immigration. Our advisers can assist clients to complete forms, write letters and negotiate with creditors

We are not just here in times of crisis – we also use client’s stories anonymously to campaign for policy changes that benefit the community as a whole.

The numbers of clients we assist each year means that if there is a recurring injustice out there, it is inevitably being played out in our interview rooms and recorded on our database of client evidence. Through analysing the database we can then bring problem areas to the attention of those who are – often inadvertently – causing them.

Our bureau has a Trustee Board that is made up of independent volunteers who have overall responsibility for the governance of the Bureau, which is a company limited by guarantee as well as a charity. The Trustee Board meets at least once every two months. The day-to-day management of the Bureau is delegated to the Bureau Manager and staff.

Chelmsford City Council core-funds the Bureau we also get some funding from Essex County Council, South Woodham Ferrers Town Council, plus other funding streams The acceptance of funding from organisations does not influence our independence in being able to act on behalf of a client “against” that organisation.

Like all bureaux, Chelmsford is a member of Citizens Advice, the national body. The Bureau has considerable autonomy, but to remain a member of Citizens Advice, it must adhere to the quality standards, policies and principles of that body

With a CAB in the community people always have somewhere to turn in times of crisis, but the unmet demand for our service is growing. Can you help us to help more people?