Citizens Advice means community, service, support. Now they need volunteers.
“When I think of Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell three words spring to mind to illustrate the value of this wonderful organisation: community, service and support. I’m proud to support them during my year of office.” Guest Blog
Councillor Rob Geleit is Mayor of Epsom & Ewell (3 minute read)
CAEE is rooted in this community, being one of the first 200 Citizens Advice offices to open during the outbreak of war in 1939. Next year, it will celebrate 85 years of helping, supporting, advising, and impacting this community.
Each year around 3000 people benefit from this free and confidential service. It helps with the problems they face but also explores the root cause and puts them on a sustainable path. This holistic approach shows the huge community value of CAEE. Through its work local people can manage their finances, live in suitable accommodation and do not have to choose between eating and heating.
‘Citizens Advice Epsom and Ewell’ evokes service to its clients and its community. What is most remarkable is that the service is mainly undertaken by volunteers who dedicate their time to improving another person’s situation.
Not everyone realises how CAEE ensures people receive an excellent quality of service. All advice volunteers and staff commit to months of training, daily supervision, regular case-checking and quality reviews. It’s all necessary for the organisation to comply with Advice Quality accreditation and FCA regulations. But I think it says so much more about the commitment of the team and everyone involved.
Citizens’ Advice comes in so many forms. Generalist – basically you can ask for help about anything; and specialist – covering debt, mental health, energy and digital support. CAEE is also available in many locations: office, telephone, internet, secure mental health wards. There are local outreaches too including Epsom & Ewell Refugee Hub, Epsom Pantry and soon Epsom Methodist Church.
CAEE wants and needs to be here for another 85 years and this year I want to do my part in helping that to happen. I chose CAEE as I greatly support its work and what it achieves for local people.
This year, the Mayors Charities Fund is holding events to raise money and profile for CAEE, along with Age Concern Epsom & Ewell and Love Me Love My Mind.
I hope everyone will look out for these and lend their support during the year. Financial help is great but I know they also urgently need volunteers. If you or someone you know can offer anything from half a day a week upwards they would love to hear from you. There’s training and the chance to join a wonderful team where I’m told tea and chocolate biscuits are never in short supply.
On behalf of the community I want to say a big thank you to the team at Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell and all those who fund, partner with, and support them to benefit the borough and its residents.
NOTE. Councillor Geleit kindly chaired the annual general meeting of Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell on 19 September 2023 at the Epsom Club. He based his blog on his speech at the meeting.