Citizens Advice Sheffield expands phone service due to ‘national emergency’

Citizens Advice Sheffield will still offer a full range of services over the phone after it was forced to stop giving face-to-face advice last week because of coronavirus.

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 12:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 12:15 pm

To protect the health of its clients, staff and volunteers, service bosses last week closed its Sheffield offices, following Government advice to minimise non-essential contact.

However, to make sure that all of their services are available during this period of national emergency, they say they will instead offer a ‘significantly enhanced’ telephone advice line.

Callers to the line will be referred to an expert, who will phone them back to reduce the cost.

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Clare Lodder, chief executive of Citizens Advice Sheffield, said: “We know that a crisis like we’re facing at the moment will inevitably have a massive impact on people who are on benefits, low incomes and in insecure employment.

“We are already helping people who have been laid off and are trying to claim Universal Credit in very difficult circumstances.

“Citizens Advice is an organisation for people to turn to when they are in crisis. We’re determined that we will be available for Sheffield communities in the very best way we can manage."

And Mark Gamsu, chair of Citizens Advice Sheffield, added: “The Citizens Advice service was set up on the second day of the Second World War, so Citizens Advice is older than the NHS.

Citizens Advice Sheffield offers help with benefits, income, employment, housing, debt and immigration issues. Photo: Joe Giddens.

“It was set up precisely to respond to a period of extreme crisis, so its primary purpose is to help people at a time when things are uncertain. This is why we’re here.”

From Monday, March 23 until further notice, Sheffield residents can get help by telephone on the following numbers.

Advice Line - 03444 113 111 (Mon to Fri, 10am-4pm)

The first point of contact for people across the city to access advice from CAS.

Help To Claim Helpline - 0800 144 8 444 (Mon to Fri, 8am-6pm)

For help and support with Universal Credit claims.

Consumer Service Helpline - 0800 04 05 06 (Mon to Fri, 9am-5pm)

For help with consumer rights including energy supplies.

The Citizens Advice Sheffield website will also be regularly updated.