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Citizens Advice charity branches set to join forces

David Lee

A planned merger between two Citizens Advice branches has been described as a ‘great step forward’ for the charity.

Citizens Advice Maidenhead and Windsor is set to join forces with the organisation’s Bracknell & District service to form Citizens Advice East Berkshire.

The move, expected to be completed by April, will see the charity retain its offices in Marlow Road and Bracknell to allow face-to-face visits in both towns when COVID-19 related restrictions allow.

But a new chief executive will be appointed to oversee the operation as Bracknell & District CEO Tina Stevenson is due to join the Reading branch in January with Maidenhead & Windsor interim chief executive Bill Feeney leaving as planned in March.

Ms Stevenson said: “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.”

Citizens Advice Maidenhead & Windsor launched in 1939 while the neighbouring Bracknell & District branch was founded 22 years later.

Both charities resolve more than 35,000 issues a year on topics including debt, benefits applications and housing.

The merger is not expected to lead to job losses or cost savings but will see both groups pooling its resources and operating with shared management.

The trustee board of the new merged organisation will be made up of trustees from the two existing charities on a 50/50 split.

Maidenhead & Windsor’s interim CEO Bill Feeney added: “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 to the next level, allowing us to reach and serve even more of our community.”

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