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About Us

South West Aberdeenshire CAB is a local, independent, non-profit making charity, led by a team of highly trained volunteers and specialist staff.

We are a member of the Scottish Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (generally know as Citizens Advice Scotland - CAS) who ensure we adhere to the highest standards of advice through the provision of a regularly updated comprehensive information database and regular audits, which check compliance with their strict standards for advice giving and organisational management.

We provide advice primarily through face to face contact, which is the best way to understand the full situation surrounding client’s problems. We occasionally provide some advice by telephone if the circumstances allow. We will accept enquiries by e-mail but do not provide advice by e-mail due to the need to ensure that advice is only ever provided to the client. Unless e-mail is properly encrypted, it is open to others to read and this would negate our policy of confidentiality.

Bureau History

We opened to the public in Westhill in April 2007 as an independent advice centre. After one year of operation, which confirmed the real need for such an advice service, we developed plans for expansion and applied to CAS to become a member bureau. CAS was supportive of our plans, granting us probabtionary Bureau status in 2009, and joined Aberdeenshire Council in a 5 year funding partnership to help us achieve them.

Fund raising success enabled us to lease of an office suite and fit it out to provide full bureau facilities, where we commenced operation in January 2010, resulting in a significant increase in the number of clients we were able to help. Following formal audit by CAS in summer 2010 we were awarded full Bureau status.

Further expansion has seen the opening of outreach facilities in Aboyne, Alford, Tarland, Lonach, Ballater, Breamar and Banchory. In January 2014 we changed our name to South West Aberdeenshire Citizens Advice Bureau (SWACAB) to better reflect the whole area that we cover, and have since upgraded our Banchory outreach to a full bureau office.

The bureau also runs a home visiting service for those who cannot come to one of our 8 locations, for example due to disability.