Leading local advice charity, Citizens Advice Exeter, was honoured by the Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor, at a Reception at the historic Exeter Guildhall on Friday the 24th November.
The Reception marked the 70th anniversary of the charity since it first opened its doors to the people of the City in 1947 when it dealt with issues ranging from war-related questions, to housing and employment. The first Chairman, Frank Newcombe, speaking in 1948 commented that ‘The coming year will see the beginning of great schemes of social welfare – the National Health Service Act, the National Insurance Act and the National Assistance Act”.
The charity continues to be as relevant today as it was 70 years ago, with its progress and work matching widespread social change over its long and illustrious history, resulting in it receiving the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2016.
Dennis Mardon, Chairman, Citizens Advice Exeter, said: “We were incredibly proud to be invited by The Lord Mayor to celebrate our 70th anniversary and I thank The Lord Mayor on behalf of everyone involved with our charity, both today and in the past. Over this time many hundreds of volunteers from Exeter and the surrounding area have devoted their time and energy to supporting our clients. Many have undertaken extensive training in finance, benefits, housing and many other areas which have impacted on our clients’ lives to provide the quality service of which we are so proud.”
Volunteers donated time worth over half a million pounds in 2016/17
Citizens Advice Exeter has calculated that its volunteers gave more than 34,000 hours in the last year and estimates the financial value of this time to be worth in excess of half a million pounds at £570,147.
The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor, Councillor Lesley Robson, said: “I think Exeter would be a far poorer place in every sense of the word without the actions of CAB. They help so many people, as a Councillor I see the work first hand by the professional volunteers, and I am always impressed with it. “
Steve Barriball, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Exeter said: “We are thrilled and delighted to be honoured in this way by the Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor. It’s testament to the dedication of both our volunteers and employees. The work the team does is so vital, often providing support in times of uncertainty or crisis for our clients. This is a theme that has remained true over the last 70 years and hopefully for the next 70 years.”
Last year, the charity helped 21,847 clients with 35,713 individual problems through a mix of on-line services, self-help facilities, telephone access and face to face interviews. It relies on grants and donations to maintain its core activity and implement new projects. Anyone wishing to support the work of the charity can donate on-line by going to the Support Us section of their website (www.citizensadviceexeter.org.uk).