Citizens Advice Test Valley is a registered Charity which became incorporated in July 2014 and is now a limited company. Citizens Advice Test Valley was formed following the merger of Andover Citizens Advice Bureau and Romsey Citizens Advice Bureau. The original name of the combined bureaux was Test Valley Citizens Advice Bureau, but in May 2016 it was renamed to its current name following the national rebranding of all local offices of Citizens Advice.
Andover Citizens Advice Bureau was opened in 1966 and has occupied various venues throughout the town before moving to Wessex Chamber, South Street in November 1997. It remained there for seventeen years until moving into London Street in March 2014. Then, in June 2020, the Andover office moved to its present location.
Romsey Citizens Advice Bureau was opened in 1976 and was formerly housed in the Town Hall before moving into Abbey Walk, Church Street at the beginning of the 1990s. In December 2014, the Romsey office moved to its present location.
The local authority, Test Valley Borough Council, who is also our landlord, provides the major part of our funding. However, Citizens Advice Test Valley operates entirely independently, answerable to its Trustee Board and to Citizens Advice. We have to meet the standards set by Citizens Advice to whom we are affiliated.
Ninety percent of people working within the Citizens Advice Service are volunteers who volunteer as advisers, admin staff, receptionists or Trustees.
We have the following full-time and part-time paid staff: Chief Officer, Operations Manager, Advice Service Managers, Training Officer, Tutors, Administrator/Money Advice Co-coordinators, and Employment Rights Specialist.
We have Outreach surgeries which take our service to rural parts of our catchment area and provide a home visiting service to those unable to access our service at our offices through disability or care responsibilities. This was originally funded by National Lotteries Board but now relies on donations and some funding from TVBC.
Outreach currently has a paid Manager who is responsible for a small group of volunteers.