Citizens Advice annual report 2009/2010
Introduction from John Gladwin
Although I have been Chair for just one year, it seems a long time ago when I was struck, in equal measure, by both the importance of our work in society and the skill and dedication of the staff that deliver it. Even in just one year, it is clear that there is no such thing as a ‘normal’ year for the Citizens Advice service. Not only do our services benefit more and more people, but their needs are constantly changing.
We must be an organisation that embraces change. We have certainly done so this year. In a time of national economic crisis, we have responded well by many bureaux opening for additional hours. During the year, we have seen more clients with significantly more problems. We continue to work with a variety of funders to provide many facets of information and advice. We are pleased to continue working with many partners across government, the commercial and charitable sectors and to develop our work in preventative money guidance with the support of the Financial Services Authority. We can adapt to change and must always be prepared to do so.
We must also be an organisation that recognises its own importance in society. As we come to the end of our 70th year, we reflect on how far we have come. We should also be recognising, more simply, how important our work is and will continue to be. We provide information and advice to millions of people through face-to-face advice, through the internet and increasingly over the telephone. Our policy work has an impact on more people still and continues to be an invaluable part of our work to both clients and government alike. There is a real positive benefit of this work and this must always be what we strive for.
There will be difficulties ahead. Citizens Advice will have to change to meet cuts in our funding. Operating in a much tighter financial world threatens our ability to deliver our strategy but we will make every effort to meet the ambitious targets we have set ourselves. Bureaux will be under similar financial pressures and we will work together to try to meet and overcome them.
We live in uncertain times but with uncertainty there is always opportunity. I look forward to these challenges and am confident that the skills and dedication of the organisation will help us meet both challenges and opportunities with well-placed confidence.
Chair, Citizens Advice
Citizens Advice annual report and accounts 2009/2010 ( 450kb)