Stronger together– Bracknell, Maidenhead and Windsor Citizens Advice charities agree to merge as Citizens Advice East Berkshire to offer better services, meet the needs of more clients and improve financial resilience
BRACKNELL, MAIDENHEAD 23 November 2020 – Citizens Advice Bracknell & District and Citizens Advice Maidenhead & Windsor have agreed to merge and become Citizens Advice East Berkshire. Both charities have a long and successful local history; with over 140 years’ experience between them, they serve 7,000 clients and resolve over 35,000 issues every year. Citizens Advice Maidenhead & Windsor was founded in 1939; Bracknell & District in 1961. The merger will complete in April 2021 – a fantastic way to celebrate Bracknell & District’s Diamond Anniversary.
Clients will continue to be served by staff and volunteers directly in their local community, all with the backing of the national Citizens Advice organisation. Both local services in Bracknell and Maidenhead will continue to operate to allow face-to-face visits as soon as Covid-related restrictions allow.
Since May 2020, a Joint Working Group has reviewed the best way both organisations could serve clients in the future. The resulting merger proposal does not expect to result in cost savings or job losses but instead will lead to more investment to serve clients through sharing management, best practice and simplification.
The Trustee Board of the new merged organisation will be made up of trustees from the two existing charities on a 50:50 basis. Efforts are underway to recruit a new Chief Executive as Tina Stevenson, CEO of Citizens Advice Bracknell & District, will be joining Citizens Advice Reading in January 2021 and Bill Feeney, Interim CEO of Citizens Advice Maidenhead & Windsor will be leaving as planned in March 2021.
Cheryl Coppell, Chair of Trustees of Citizens Advice Maidenhead & Windsor, comments:
“This is an exciting time to build on the strengths of both services. We share the same philosophy – to serve our community in the most local, friendly and efficient way possible. Our dedicated team of staff and volunteers provide a lifeline to so many when they really need help. We want to deliver and expand those vital services to local people. Being part of a larger, more resilient organisation really helps us to do that.”
Geoff Smith, Chair of Trustees of Citizens Advice Bracknell & District, comments:
“We believe pooling our resources and expertise makes us both stronger and most importantly delivers a better service to our clients. Whilst we are sorry to see Tina leave after more than five wonderful growth years, we are happy that she will continue within the Citizens Advice network.”
Tina Stevenson, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Bracknell & District, comments:
“The merger is a great step forward for both services and a fantastic opportunity to serve more clients in our 60th year, especially with the extra demand we anticipate post-Covid. After more than five years at Bracknell & District, I will really miss my colleagues, but I know they will continue to achieve great things.”
Bill Feeney, Interim Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Bracknell & District, comments:
“The generosity of our funders combined with dedication of our staff, volunteers and trustees creates a unique service in our community. It is a privilege to lead such a vibrant and progressive team and the merger will take the service the next level, allowing us to reach and serve even more of our community.”