Citizens Advice, Dunstable and District, was founded in 1959 by a group of local towns people, to give advice and help to local people.
We initially operated from one room in Priory House which served as both an office and interview room. This eventually increased to two interview rooms and a general office.
In 1990 the bureau outgrew Priory House and moved to its current location in Grove House to give us three interview rooms, kitchen, general office, training room and managers office.
We are a charity, dependent on a workforce of paid staff and volunteers. We currently have five paid staff which includes a Bureau Manager, Training Supervisor, Advice Session Supervisor, Debt Caseworker and a part time administration assistant. At any one time we have between 30 and 35 volunteers who work as generalist advisers, receptionists, advice session supervisors and admin support. The majority of our funding comes from Central Bedfordshire Council.
We are run by a Trustee Board. Their job is to support the manager in the organisation of the bureau and to set goals to enable them to meet the aims and rules of the service. The Trustee Board is made up of local councillors, local people and representatives from business.
We provide advice to over 9,300 people per year on Benefits, Housing, Debt, Consumer, Employment, Relationships & Family and much much more!
As well as providing advice to the public we speak for changes in social policies; from our clients’ experiences we can see where services and policies are failing. We call this work “Campaigning for change”.
We are a member of the national Citizens Advice service, which provides the extensive information we use to advise clients and sets standards for advice, training, equal opportunities and accessibility in the bureau.