Citizens Advice responds to coronavirus crisis
Citizens Advice throughout Dorset have put into place special measures so that local people can continue to get help during the coronavirus crisis.
In response to the Government’s advice of avoiding unnecessary contact, all are now offering an enhanced service by telephone or email and face to face appointments have been temporarily suspended.
Anyone living in Dorset can contact the Dorset AdviceLine run by Citizens Advice on 03444-111-444. Email advice can be accesses via the local Citizens Advice websites. People having problems with Universal Credit can also contact the charity on a national freephone number which is 0800-144-8444 and a webchat support service is available through its website.
Caroline Buxton, chief executive of Citizens Advice in Dorset (CAiD): “We have put in extra telephone lines and are confident that this will allow us to assist everyone who needs our help during this health emergency. Our arrangements allow many of our staff and volunteers to be able to work from home.
“We shall be keeping the situation under constant review and I would like to thank our large number of volunteers for their excellent and rapid response to this crisis.”
Citizens Advice nationally has been active in recent weeks trying to ensure that the emergency measures being introduced by the Government properly protect vulnerable and low-income families from being pushed into poverty as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
Without this it fears the public health response to coronavirus could be undermined because some people will not be able to afford to follow the recommendations on self-isolation.
Ms. Buxton added: “Many people’s wages will be hit hard as a result of the crisis which will make it particularly difficult for many families living in this area. Our trained advisers are able to provide help on the best way to cope with the sudden problems that will result.”
The national website for Citizens Advice on www.citizensadvice.org.uk is being regularly updated to reflect the latest advice from the Government.
Citizens Advice in Dorset is are also working closely with Dorset Council and other voluntary sector organisations to provide a community response to coronavirus. Details of this can be found here.