Citizens Advice annual report 2010/2011
Introduction from the Chair
Change is rarely straightforward. It can be challenging, uncomfortable, and disruptive. Our clients know this as they continue to face issues associated with the current economic climate. Bureaux also know this as they continue to stress the role they can play in the community amidst funding pressures. This has been a year of change; for the service and for our clients.
In times of change, there is also opportunity. Everyone is under pressure to provide services during this challenging time as efficiently and effectively as possible. The Citizens Advice service can do just that.
Despite all the challenges that change brings with it, we need to maintain the energy and conviction that our service can do more for clients. All of us, either collectively or individually, have faced and will face funding cuts. But the service has not yielded. In promoting the role of Citizens Advice, the Government has given us an unequivocal vote of confidence to name us as the service to provide information and advice. As a result of this, we will be expanding our role in the consumer landscape. We hope and expect that further opportunities will develop in the future for us to do more.
We do not and should not only change when the environment changes. That can lead to stagnation. So, we have also had a busy year in other areas: we have developed and are now deploying a new customer relationship management system called Petra; we have been rolling out Adviceline; we have started a new debt management programme; and launched our new leadership programme. This is not stagnation. This is strengthening the bedrock on which this great service stands.
The work of those on the frontline is as important as ever in these challenging times. The huge contribution made by our volunteers is as integral to this service as it is humbling.
So let us embrace change and what it may bring in the future. If we are prepared for it we can use it to the advantage of delivering more or better services to our clients. With that aim, it will always be a change for the good. We must pursue that aim because everything changes but change itself. So, in the words of Tennyson, “let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.”
Chair, Citizens Advice
Citizens Advice annual report and accounts 2010/2011 ( 3.1mb)