Surrey Adviceline 0808 812 7087 | National Adviceline 0800 144 8848 | Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Our history

We provide free, confidential, independent and impartial advice and support for people experiencing problems.

Part of national Citizens Advice network

Our Advice Service works with a range of other voluntary organisations, both locally and nationally, to provide people with the help they need to resolve problems. We are a member of UK-wide Citizens Advice, a network of 316 independent charities. Citizens Advice provides us with a range of support, including for local fund-raising, specialist information services, and research to use in our campaigning work. It also provides a range of infrastructure services to support the smooth running of our charity.

Our history

Citizens Advice has provided free, confidential and independent advice for more than 80 years. Adapting to the ever-changing needs of society has made Citizens Advice the most recognised and trusted provider of information and advice in the country.

Individual Citizen Advice charities are an established part of many local communities and in almost every town and city in the country.

Helping to solve problems since 1939

  • 1935: The Government is considering the need for an information service linked to the fledgling social welfare service.
  • 1938: The prospect of a world war looms so the National Council of Social Services (the forerunner of today’s National Council for Voluntary Organisations) establishes a group to look at how to meet the needs of the civilian population in war time. “Citizens Advice Bureaux should be established throughout the country, particularly in the large cities and industrial areas where social disorganisation may be acute.”
  • 3 September 1939: War is declared.
  • 4 September 1939: The first 200 bureaux open.
  • From the start, volunteers run the service working from public buildings and private houses. Advisers deal with problems relating to the loss of ration books, homelessness and evacuation. They also help locate missing relatives and prisoners of war. Debt quickly becomes a key issue as income reduces due to call-ups.
  • 1942: The number of bureaux peaks at 1,074 and one even operates out of a converted horse box that parks near bombed areas.
  • 1950s: Despite the success of Citizens Advice Bureaux, funding from the Ministry of Health is cut after the war, and by 1953 many bureaux had closed with Caterham being one of them.
  • In March 1954 at a meeting arranged by the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service, ten local organisations voted to resuscitate the Caterham Bureau and give it annual financial support and practical help.
  • By the late 1970’s Tandridge Council was giving an annual grant which has continued to this date.
  • In April 2022 Caterham and Warlingham Advice Bureau merged with Oxted and District Citizens Advice to create Citizens Advice Tandridge District. And from April 2022 to April 2023 helped 1,239 individuals with 5,451 issues, including client income generation of £475,440.