Citizens Advice Covid-19 Update

Citizens Advice Covid-19 UpdateCitizens Advice Covid-19 Update

received from Citizens Advice Winchester
originally published 6 April 2020, updated 25 April 2020


Citizens Advice Winchester District still here for you during this time of crisis

To Local Residents

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself as the new Chief Officer at Citizens Advice Winchester District.

I also wanted to let you know how we are responding to the pandemic and to ask that you pass on some information about our services to local residents so they know how to reach us at the moment.

In line with Government advice, and in conjunction with Citizens Advice offices across the country, we made the difficult decision to temporarily close our face-to-face services in mid-March. However, I’m delighted to say that since then we’ve been successfully running our core advice services remotely. We’re delivering these services via phone, email and webchat run by our usual team of our highly trained volunteers from their homes.

This has been a huge logistical challenge, including supplying many of them with equipment as well as creating new systems to ensure we maintain our usual high standards, continue to adhere to GDPR regulations and so on.

We’ve also worked hard to ensure that our advisers are kept up to date with all the latest information on key areas of advice such as universal credit, employment advice and the latest Government support related to Covid-19. The size of our remote advice team is steadily expanding as we source more vital equipment such as mobile phones.

Last week we helped local residents with 420 issues, such as claiming Universal Credit, or employment advice (compared with 283 in the same week last year). This reflects the increase in demand for our services but also demonstrates that we are responding well to this challenge. We expect these figures to continue to increase as we enable more volunteers to work from home.

We’re also adapting our services to respond to demand. For example, we’ve launched a new call back service, the details of which are below. This service enables clients to leave a message and receive a call back from one of our advisers. We’re also proactively contacting all clients we have seen in the past six months who are particularly vulnerable to see if they need any additional support at this time.

Citizens Advice Covid-19 Update
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This poster lists the current ways local residents can contact us. Details are also on our new website www.citizensadvicewinchester.org.uk. We’d be really grateful if you could circulate this information as widely as possible.

Thank you in advance for your help with sharing the information about our services. We want to reassure all Winchester District residents that we are still here to help, whoever they are, whatever the problem.

Best Wishes,

Sue Campbell
Chief Officer
Citizens Advice Winchester District

How to get help from Citizens Advice during lockdown

About Citizens Advice Winchester District

Citizens Advice Winchester District (CAWD) is an independent registered charity and a member of the national Citizens Advice network of England and Wales.

We receive no national funding from either central government or the national Citizens Advice service.

Our core service is a team of over 80 volunteers supported by around 8 full-time equivalent paid staff.