The Bureau

History:

First opened in 1969 the Bureau (Citizens Advice Bureau West Lothian) has provided advice services to the citizens of West Lothian for over four decades.

Our objective is to support equality of opportunity for people who are disadvantaged as a consequence of low income, disability, incapacity, age, being a single parent, long-term unemployed or racial discrimination

The Bureau provides an advice, information and advocacy service on a broad range of social, legal and personal problems/issues to the residents of West Lothian.  The Citizens Advice Bureau West Lothian is a long serving, trusted and well used community service.   The service is free, confidential, impartial and independent and the public appreciates these values.

The service is delivered by a volunteer workforce and supported by a team of permanent staff.

The Bureau has the Citizens Advice Scotland quality award as well as the National Standard for Advice Giving for the delivery of money advice, welfare rights and housing advice.

The Bureau is a registered charity (SC000360). A company limited by guarantee, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (617485).

The Team:

Managed by Karen McGhee, the bureau is a mix of permanent staff and volunteers – some of whom can be seen below.  Karen  has been involved with Citizens Advice Bureau for many years and was previously manager at the bureau in Motherwell.  Karen has managed the team here in Livingston since January 2010.

Bureau staff and volunteers

Bureau staff and volunteers

Our Clients:

The bureau is located in the Almondbank centre in Craigshill, Livingston.  From here the bureau provides services to residents across the whole of West Lothian and the surrounding area – approximately 173,000 people.  Almondbank is the main base for our face to face drop-in sessions but the bureau also runs a number of  outreach centres – see the “getting advice” page for information on how to make contact.

The bureau is open to our clients on a drop-in basis every day except Wednesday (when an appointment only form filling service is offered) and Sunday.

Our Projects:

In addition to our drop-in sessions where advice can be given on a range of topics the bureau also runs specialist advice services in a number of areas.  These are listed below but the first point of contact is generally through an initial discussion with a volunteer adviser, whether at a drop-in session, by email or by telephone.   Information on the Bureau projects can be found on this website under the “Projects” tab.

The Bureau runs the following projects:

  • Pension Wise
    To assist individuals to explore their pension options
  • Armed Services Advice
    A support service for the armed forces community in Scotland
  • Court Advice
    To provide support assistance to clients in danger of losing their home
  • Prevention and Intervention Money Advice (PIMAP)
    A partnership with NHS (Lothian) to reduce child poverty across the region
  • GP surgery outreach
    The bureau works with a number of surgeries in West Lothian to provide an onsite support service.
  • Fuel Poverty
    Assistance tenants and home owners in West Lothian who have difficulty heating their homes and/or paying their energy bills
  • First Step One Stop Domestic Abuse (in conjunction with West Lothian Women’s Aid)
    A benefits and money advice service to individuals suffering domestic abuse
  • Support for Almond Housing tenants
    A welfare benefits and advice service delivered jointly by the Bureau and Almond Housing

To find out more about who we are and the services we provide have a look at our annual reports:

2011/2012 Annual Report.

2012/2013 Annual Report

2013/2014 Annual Report

2014/2015 Annual Report

2015/2016 Annual Report (most recent)