At Citizens Advice Watford, volunteers are at the heart of the service we provide to people in the local community. We operate both a walk-in service and a telephone adviceline (details of both can be found on the left hand side of this page). Most of our volunteers provide generalist information and advice, but we offer specialist services in debt and money, welfare benefits and employment. We are also fortunate to have two local family solicitors offering free initial advice from our offices.
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.
What does the Citizens Advice service do?
The Citizens Advice service offers information and advice through face-to-face, phone and email services, and online. Between them, Local Citizens Advice make advice available from over 3,500 locations in England and Wales including high streets, community centres, doctors’ surgeries, courts and prisons.
Every year the service helps over 2 million people with more than 7 million problems relating to issues including debt, benefits, employment, housing and immigration. Advisers help clients to fill out forms, write letters, negotiate with creditors, and can even represent them at court or tribunal.
We’re not just here for times of crisis – we also use clients’ stories anonymously to campaign for policy changes that benefit the population as a whole.
The sheer number of clients we see 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. This database is analysed by the national policy team, who are then able to bring problem areas to the attention of those who are – often inadvertently – causing them.
How is the service structured?
There are over 350 local Citizens Advice members across England and Wales, all of which are registered charities. Citizens Advice itself is also a registered charity, as well as being the membership organisation for local Citizens Advice. Together we make up the Citizens Advice service.
How the network is funded?
Citizens Advice is a registered charity, reliant on statutory grants and charitable donations. The work of Citizens Advice is mainly funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Local Citizens Advice are also registered charities, reliant on funding from their local authorities, local businesses, charitable trusts and individual donations.