‘We didn’t have the internet when I started’ – Stevenage CAB director reflects on her 20 years after retiring

Marian Hurle has retired after almost 20 years at the Citizen's Advice Bureau in Stevenage.

Marian Hurle has retired after almost 20 years at the Citizen's Advice Bureau in Stevenage. - Credit: Daniel Wilson

A community hero who has spent nearly 20 years helping people in Stevenage with problems ranging from domestic violence to weight loss has been saluted by her successor.

When Marian Hurle joined the Stevenage branch of the Citizens Advice Bureau in September 1995 the fledgling organisation was a just a shadow of its current size, covering two floors in the town centre Swingate House block.

The 57-year-old worked out of a small temporary building and only had a team of five – now there are 25 full-time staff supporting the CAB’s work.

But that humble beginning didn’t prevent Marian from helping people with their problems and she leaves the bureau in great shape, according to her successor Daniel Marshall.

Daniel, who became the youngest CAB chief executive in the country when he took over from Marian earlier this month at the age of 23, said: “Marian was a fantastic director for the bureau for nearly 20 years and over that period transformed the organisation in to the vital part of the town that it is today.

“We all wish Marian the very best in her retirement and whatever she chooses to do next, we know she will be fantastic at it!”

This feeling was shared by staff who tweeted: “Our very best wishes and thanks to Marian. A fantastic job done with grace and charm. An inspirational role model too.”

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Speaking about her time at the branch, Marian said: “It’s been fantastic. I did a bit of research before I retired and when I started only one per cent had access to the internet – and we didn’t!

“It’s not just about debt now as people have very intricate problems – we spend a lot of time with each person finding the root causes. The feedback we’ve had shows it works.”

Marian, who has no firm plans for the future, added: “I felt it was the right time to go and it’s really nice to have someone of the calibre of Daniel to pass on the baton to.”

Marian said during her time the Stevenage branch helped 95,000 people and is on track to make financial savings for its clients of nearly £2 million by the end of the year.

The CAB runs drop-in sessions in Stevenage on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 12.30pm. Alternatively call 03444 111 444.