Citizens Advice Dunstable & 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, we moved to Grove House where we stayed for 29 years.
Then, in 2019, we outgrew Grove House and moved to our current location in the Dunstable Centre.
We are a charity, dependent on a workforce of paid staff and volunteers. We currently have paid staff, including a Chief Officer, Chief Officer Support, Training Coordinator, Advice Session Supervisor, Administrative Assistant, Foodbank Advisers and Social Prescriber. At any one time we have between 20 and 25 volunteers who work as generalist advisers, receptionists 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 Chief Officer and to set goals to enable them to meet the aims and rules of the service. The Trustee Board is made up of local people from the community.
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.