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Retiring Stalwarts of Local Citizens Advice Bureaus Recognised

Published on: 15 Apr, 2017
Updated on: 19 Apr, 2017

Vicy Payne (left) and Joan O’Byrne with their certificates presented by the Mayor of Guildford, Gordon Jackson.

Two retiring stalwarts of Guildford Borough’s two Citizen Advice bureaus, Joan O’Byrne of the Guildford bureau and Vicky Payne of the bureau in Ash, had their service recognised at the full meeting of Guildford Borough Council this week when they were each awarded a certificate.

David Calow, director of the Citizens Advice Guildford, said of Joan O’Byrne, the retiring chief officer: “Joan joined the staff of Citizens Advice as a money adviser. Debt is often a sign of many issues and a money adviser has to unravel the full story and work with people for a long time.

“It was with this background and experience that Joan took on the demanding role of chief officer.

“Joan is dedicated to helping people help themselves. Citizens Advice gives quality controlled advice to help people resolve the problems they face and raises underlying issues to make life easier for everyone. These ideas match Joan’s values perfectly.

“She is a facilitator who makes it possible for people to achieve more than they thought they could and a determined and resourceful chief officer who has brought considerable funds to the bureau and fought to keep the face to face advice and projects in place.

“I know, from working with her, that she has willingly given so much of herself to make this possible. Joan is a professional and a true citizen of Guildford and I would like to thank you, Mr Mayor, and members of the council, for recognising her this evening.

The Mayor of Guildford, Gordon Jackson, who is also a trustee of Citizens Advice in Ash, said of Vicky Payne: “Vicky started with Citizens Advice in 1991 and, after a period of job share with another manager, she became a full time manager in April 2000.

“Vicky has throughout her time as bureau manager been an absolutely sterling manager. She has held the whole of the bureau together, she is universally liked by all of the volunteers and permanent staff and she has been a phenomenal professional throughout that time.

“Just to give you some idea of the work that Citizens Advice does, I thought it worth giving you a few figures for 2015/16 in Ash:

  • they saw 2,174 clients, many had several different issues;
  • there were 6,922 identified issues;
  • they achieved income gains through benefit take up of £659,000;
  • debts were written off for clients of £214,986;
  • debt repayments £88,236 were scheduled and;
  • 80 clients were assisted so as not to lose their homes.

“Now, I won’t say that Vicky did every single one of those but she is the one who supported the team and she has been doing that for 17 years.”

Both were presented with certificates marking their: “Outstanding contribution to Guildford Borough and the residents of Guildford (and Ash).”

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