Citizens Advice Brighton and Hove’s longest serving volunteer helped celebrate its 80th anniversary by cutting the birthday cake this week.
Janet Stenning, 85, has volunteered with the support service for 35 years – longer than some of its current volunteers and clients have been alive.
In that time, she has seen the way the service is run changed significantly – but the service itself has remained much the same, with volunteers at the centre of what they do.
Janet urged others to consider volunteering with Citizens Advice Brighton and Hove. She said: “I would say, go for it! It is a commitment and there is a lot of training involved but it is worth it to help your community.”
Matt Day, Chief Executive, said: “Volunteers are the life blood of our organisation. Last year 55 volunteers gave 6612 hours of their time to support people in their community with free and impartial information and advice.
“People from all walks of life and all ages volunteer with us. Janet’s commitment is inspiring and I hope that her story encourages others to help us thrive for the next 80 years of Citizens Advice.”
Established in 1939, Citizens Advice Brighton and Hove has supported city residents through many changes over the decades. Changing with the city, when the city council was established Brighton Citizens Advice and Hove Citizens Advice also merged becoming today’s citywide service.
Citizens Advice have moved premises many times over the years and we are now based in an Advice Hub at Hove Town Hall, which is back where it all started. The Hove service was originally in the basement of the former Hove Town Hall building until 1945.
When Janet joined Citizens Advice she volunteered as an Information Officer. In those days there wasn’t a website so the information that advisors used was sent out to offices in the post and her job was to update the files so that information and advice was up-to-date.
Now many people access the public website as the first port of call.
Today, Janet helps out with the office housekeeping: Watering the plants and doing the office shopping for tea and coffee and refreshments.
To enquire about volunteering with Citizens Advice Brighton and Hove please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate to support their work click on the donate button at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/brighton-hove