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Citizens Advice Sheffield: Charity moves all services to phone and online amid coronavirus outbreak

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Harrison Qi

Citizens Advice Sheffield (CAS) have announced that they will keep providing the same advice and services to the city after closing their physical sites on Tuesday, following government advice to avoid all non-essential contact to slow the spread of coronavirus.

CAS have invested in new processes to enable their Sheffield employees to work from home from today (Monday 23 March) and are providing a "significantly enhanced telephone advice service" for the foreseeable future, supported by regular updates on their website.

This will ensure that Sheffield residents can continue to get vital free advice about benefits including Universal Credit, as well as help with income, employment, housing, debt and immigration issues.

The charity - one of the largest Citizens Advice services in England - expects to answer over 200 calls a day to its Advice Line alone.

Citizens Advice is an organisation for people to turn to when they are in crisis

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.

"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."

Mark Gamsu, Chair of Citizens Advice Sheffield, added that the Citizens Advice service was set up on the second day of the Second World War and predates the formation of the NHS.

"[Citizens Advice] 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," he said. "This is why we're here."

From Monday 23 March 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 be regularly updated in the coming days and weeks, so residents can access up-to-date information about the charity's services.

Sam Walby

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