Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth (CAML) is the leading advice charity supporting individuals and families who live, work or study primarily in the London boroughs of Merton and Lambeth, but also elsewhere. We also work to raise awareness and understanding of the challenging issues affecting individuals and our communities.
We are a member of the national Citizens Advice network. We offer a range of advice and support services developed in response to community need. Our services are provided via telephone, online and face-to-face. We run three offices open to the public in Morden, Mitcham and Streatham Hill. We also provide information and advice support through outreach services in Lambeth Civic Centre and other venues within local communities. Our aim to is to empower people to better help themselves. But we are always here with further support and advice when needed.
Having a problem can affect our lives in so many ways. People often come to us when they’re facing barriers to solving a problem, are unsure what to do next or don’t have the confidence to take action. We support our clients to find a way forward.
We share the over-arching aims, values and principles of Citizens Advice to:
- provide the advice people need for the problems they face, and
- improve the policies and practices that affect peoples’ lives
and we aim to do this through:
- providing information and advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities;
- equipping our clients with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take control of their lives;
- enabling our clients to take informed decisions to address their problems; and
- focusing on our clients as individuals who may have a wide range of problems
How we started
Mitcham Citizens Advice Bureau was one of the first two hundred Citizens Advice Bureaux that opened in September 1939 after war was declared. The bureau volunteers then helped with rationing problems, tracing missing persons, arranging evacuation and helping with war damage claims.
We were one of the first Citizens Advice services to open our doors in September 1939 after war was declared. We then helped with rationing problems, tracing missing persons, arranging evacuation and helping with war damage claims.
How we work
Now the most priority problems our clients have are benefits and tax credits, universal credit, housing, debt and employment. Food bank referrals have replaced ration books. Clients can access our services via email, phone or face-to-face. Some clients are empowered to solve problems by themselves; those requiring more support receive advice and, if necessary, specialist casework support. We also work in partnership with organisations including L&Q housing, Clarion housing, Wandle housing, Lambeth Childrens Services and Wimbledon Guild supporting their residents and clients.
We are one of the busiest Citizens Advice services in London. During 2017-18 we helped more than 20,000 individuals and families often with high complicated and complex issues.
By offering advice we aim to bring about positive changes in peoples’ lives. This ranges from measurable outcomes, such as increasing household income or getting a refund for a client, through to wider improvements, such as better health and family relationships. We also aim to achieve policy changes for our local community and nationally – find out more about our Campaigning for Change work.
We are proud to work in the challenging environment of London in 2018-19 and beyond. All our advice is free, independent, confidential and impartial. It is an essential part of what we do that we value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination.
We are pleased to share with you our 2016-2019, 4 year strategic plan here
And you can also download our 2016 – 2017 Statutory Accounts here and our 2017-2018 Statutory Accounts here.
All our work is only possible through the enormous commitment of our small staff team, our amazing volunteers, our partners and our fantastic funders/supports. We are governed by a Board of Trustees that is responsible for the strategic direction and policies of the charity. Our Chief Executive is supported by two senior managers (meet our Senior Management Team).
Our valued staff team currently totals 22 and current vacancies are listed here.
Our trained volunteers are essential to the quality services we provide. People volunteer with CA Merton and Lambeth for different reasons and our volunteer roles are challenging, rewarding and varied – find out more about becoming a volunteer.