Citizens Advice Reading is the operating name of Reading Citizens Advice Bureau. We are an independent, voluntary organisation and are a registered charity (No.1042542). We have been assisting local people with their problems since 1939. Our services are free, independent, confidential and impartial.
We provide comprehensive generalist advice to help people with a wide range of problems including benefits, employment, debt and money, consumer, relationships, housing, discrimination, law and rights, healthcare and education.
In addition we also provide specialist help in:
- employment – including assistance in preparation for, and representation at, employment tribunals
- housing – including the Mortgage Rescue Scheme
- immigration – advice to level 2 as accredited by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC)
- debt – including application for Debt Relief Orders
Working in partnership, we also provide:
- a welfare benefits and debt advice service to cancer patients who are receiving treatment and their families
- A general telephone advice service for those affected by cancer but who are no longer in treatment
- an advice service for patients of the Milman Road Health Centre
- support at the Reading County Court particularly in respect of housing issues
We also provide:
- training to local organisations on a commercial basis
- a life coaching service available by referral by one of advisers or through Talking Therapies
- the regional lead for the Financial Capability Forum and Energy Best Deal
- the lead for the Big Lottery funded Reading Advice Network project
The quality of our advice is ensured by the national Citizens Advice service, which is a separate charity. Our services are regularly audited and in 2013 we were ranked in the top 5% of the local Citizens Advice network for the quality of our advice. We work closely with a number of other organisations to whom we may refer or signpost clients if necessary in order to secure the specialist support that they might need.
As well as providing advice to individual clients to help them with their problems, we also carry out campaign work to lobby for changes in policies and services. Much of this work is done in association with the national Citizens Advice service. Our campaign successes improve the lives of many people who may never have used the services of Citizens Advice. To find out more about our campaigning work click here.
To operate, we depend on support. We receive grants from the local council and donations from sources. To maintain our service, continuous funding is always required. You can find out more about how you could help on the Get involved page and about our partners here. Our service is staffed and supported by the efforts of a small number of paid staff and approximately 100 volunteers. If you are interested in becoming one of our team, the get involved page will provide you with more information.