Citizens Advice Scotland launches coronavirus helpline
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has launched a new national advice helpline to boost the network’s service during the coronavirus crisis and beyond.
Scotland’s Citizens Advice Helpline is free to call and staffed by trained CAB advisers from across Scotland, it will supplement the service currently offered by Scotland’s 59 local CABs.
Anyone in Scotland can call the number for expert advice on any issue.
As a result of the coronavirus crisis, the Citizens Advice network in Scotland has adapted its services to meet people’s needs.
This helpline will ensure people can still get one to one advice as well as access the network’s online advice pages here.
In addition, every CAB in Scotland is offering advice over their local phone contact and by email.
Support for establishing the helpline included funding from the Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Fund, set up to help charities during the coronavirus outbreak.
Derek Mitchell, CAS chief executive, said: “The Citizens Advice network in Scotland has been giving advice to people in Scotland for over 80 years. Now, as the country faces the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19, we are adapting our service to ensure we can still give people the advice they need, when and how they need it.
“With this new helpline, we are giving people in Scotland the simplest possible access to top quality, free advice they know they can trust.
“This helpline is not intended to replace our local face-to-face advice, but to supplement it. When this crisis is over and things return to normal people will still be able to visit their local CAB. But with COVID-19 having created an extraordinary set of circumstances we know people need to access our advice in a way that best suits them.”
He added: “As always, the service offered by our helpline is completely free, impartial and confidential.
“The CAB network in Scotland helps hundreds of thousands of people every year, putting money back into people’s pockets and giving them confidence about their rights. This new helpline will boost our service considerably and give people greater choice in how they access our advice, not just now during the pandemic but going forward afterwards as well.”
Aileen Campbell MSP, cabinet secretary for communities and local government, added: “I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to support this helpline with £100,000 to ensure people can still access vital advice and information during this pandemic.
“Many people will be concerned about their finances and jobs, and accessing social security, possibly for the first time during this pandemic.
“This helpline means people can still get help from a trained advisor even while face to face advice in local bureaux has been suspended. Whilst people are being advised to stay home, this is a service that will now be available to those that need it to understand the support available to them.”
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