Citizens Advice Bureaux are local, independent charities that provide free and confidential advice and information whoever you are and whatever your problem.
There is a Citizens Advice Bureau in almost every community in Scotland, across almost 300 locations, helping more than 260,000 people each year.
Because Citizens Advice Bureaux are managed and used by people within the community, they deliver services that meet the needs of local people. They provide practical advice, negotiate on behalf of clients and even represent them formally, such as at tribunal hearings.
Common areas of inquiry include:
- Benefits – entitlements, support with applications and appealing decisions
- Debt and money advice – how to manage debts, improve your financial situation and maximise your income
- Consumer issues – from used cars to difficulties with gas and electricity suppliers
- Work-related problems – terms and conditions, dismissal, redundancy and intimidation
- Housing – from renting through to homelessness
- Relationships – splitting up, children and bereavement
Many bureaux have specialist advisers with expert knowledge in a particular area, such as debt and money advice, benefits or housing. And lots of them deliver projects for people with specific needs – for example, people caring for a relative or friend’s child, members of the armed forces and their families and NHS patients.
As well as helping people solve their problems, bureaux provide anonymised statistics and information to Citizens Advice Scotland so we can use it to identify things that cause people hardship and campaign for change.
On the phone and online
We also have a Scotland-wide telephone advice service called Citizens Advice Direct – which is like a local bureau but over the phone – on 0808 800 9060.
If you have a problem with goods or services, you can also get in touch with the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 or on email via our self-help website www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our bureau network. More than three quarters of our bureau staff – a total of almost 2,500 people – give their time for free. Our volunteer advisers all undergo a comprehensive training programme and are provided with ongoing support and guidance. And there’s a lot to do besides advising people like fundraising, administrative support or getting involved with our campaigns.
Citizens Advice Bureaux are charities and need donations to keep their vital work going. Visit Citizens Advice Scotland’s JustGiving page, or contact your local bureau directly.
Citizens Advice Bureaux in Scotland are supported by the registered charity Citizens Advice Scotland.