BY YANN TEAR
Citizens Advice Hammersmith and Fulham is marking 80 years of providing free, independent advice nationally by hosting a community event for local people tomorrow.
They will have an open exhibition commemorating the past and showing some of their present work and future plans.
It takes place at its home at Avonmore Library, North End Crescent, West Kensington, from 1.30pm-4.30pm and anyone can drop in and learn about how the service has developed over the years.
Citizens Advice was founded on September 4, 1939 – the day after the Second World War was declared.
Last year it helped 2.7 million people across England and Wales.
Celebrations to mark the 80th anniversary will be taking place throughout the year. The Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham will attend and there will be musicians, poetry and refreshments. The day will also mark the relaunch of a revamped Avonmore library.
Since 2012, Citizens Advice has been running the library which was saved after protests from members of the community.
Hammersmith is thought to be the only local Citizen’s Advice in the country that runs a volunteer-led library, which helped the service to expand its digital inclusion service, supporting the public to gain the
skills required to navigate the increasing digital world.
The volunteers at Citizens Advice Hammersmith and Fulham contribute more than 135 hours each week, and last year helped 12,000 people with 29,000 problems, such as debt, housing, benefit and employment issues.
At the end of the event, a tree will be planted, with a time capsule buried showing what local children think their library will look like in 80 years’ time.
Simi Ryatt, chief officer of Citizens Advice Hammersmith and Fulham, said: “Our advice changes lives because we are constantly adapting to the challenges people face, from broadband bills to Universal Credit.
“Whatever the problem, our amazing staff and volunteers do all they can to help people find their way forward. We are here for everyone and we will continue to help make things better.”