The town’s Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is celebrating its 75th birthday on Thursday (September 11) with a party.
Staff are holding the event at Sussex Coast College. Speakers will include council leader Jeremy Birch and Hastings MP Amber Rudd, with entertainment from jazz musician Liane Carroll.
CABx first started opening in 1939 to help people cope with the outbreak of the Second World War. Citizens Advice 1066 opened its doors in September that year.
In the early days, the bureau was based in four small rooms in a terraced house at 49 Cambridge Gardens, which remained its home until the 1980s.
During the war volunteers were kept busy helping people to cope with its effects, from food rationing, losing their home in an air raid, tracing missing loved ones to preparing for evacuation to a safer place.
After the war ended the need for an independent, face-to-face advice service just kept growing and what started as a wartime emergency service began to cover an ever wider range of topics.
Today’s Citizens Advice 1066 is located within the Advice and Community Hub in London Road, St Leonards. It provides help to thousands of residents with problems such as debt, housing problems, benefit entitlement, employment and relationship breakdown. The service is run by 36 trained volunteers supported by 16 members of staff.
Last year alone they helped 5,160 people across Hastings and Rother to find solutions to 13,741 problems.
Dina Christodoulou, chief executive of Citizens Advice 1066, said: “Our success is down to the hard work of a team of committed volunteers and staff, and the generosity of our supporters. That’s why I’m so pleased that we have all been able to come together to celebrate our 75th birthday. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has given up their time or made a donation over the years. With the support of our local community we can ensure we are here for another 75 years.” People can obtain advice online by visiting www.citizensadvice1066.co.uk. The bureau offers drop-in interviews between 9am-4pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 9am-12.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Telephone advice is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1pm-4pm on 01424 721420.