Plenty of organisations have adapted to new ways of working in response to the coronavirus. The ‘new normal’ requires a large portion of the population to work from home; and this is no different for Exeter Citizen’s Advice.
Staff and volunteers at Exeter Citizen’s Advice help people to navigate a range of issues regarding their rights and responsibilities. They also work to improve the policies and practises that directly impact people’s lives. The service is free to anybody seeking impartial and independent advice. The current climate has motivated a great number of people to get in touch, which is why it has been vital for the service to continue operating as it normally would.
In order to adhere to government guidelines and to minimise risk, all staff and volunteers are currently working from home. The calls are directed to their Adviceline service and remote supervision and support has been established for all volunteers.
Volunteer Caroline at work on her new laptop
A new way of working presents new financial challenges. With the support of our Devon Coronavirus Response & Recovery Fund, Exeter Citizen’s Advice have been able to shift their whole operations to remote working, without any service delay. At a time when the service is in high demand, this has been crucial. This shift required additional costs including IT equipment, general office equipment, telephone costs and additional paid staff supervision.
Further, the fund has enabled the service to bolster their specialist money advice services, helping those in a financially vulnerable position. The provision of this advice supports the health and wellbeing of the community, improves household finances and empowers people to make better decisions with their money.
Exeter Citizen’s Advice have provided feedback from a client benefitting hugely from the service during coronavirus,
“My life was in a mess and I no longer had any direction for me to aim for. I would like to tell you all that you have helped me to get the life back that I thought I had lost. When I look at myself, I now see a person who has now got a reason for living – I would not have had that without your help.”
The coronavirus has affected people and communities in myriad ways. As the country starts to recover, Exeter Citizen’s Advice expect a continued high demand for their services. We’re proud to continue supporting the organisation, empowering people to seek the advice they need to get back on their feet.
Exeter CAB staff and volunteers during a Zoom meeting
Read more stories here.
Find out more about Exeter Citizens Advice on their website here.
Donate to our emergency fund here.