Gosport Citizens Advice Bureau reopens to help people in person

VOLUNTEERS who are tasked with looking after people in tough times will be doing so face-to-face once again.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 8:58 am
Updated Friday, 21st August 2020, 10:23 am
From left, Yvonne Winstanley, case worker for Citizen's Advice, Rosemary Maxwell, project lead for Citizen's Advice, Richard Mackay, chair of trustees at Citizen's Advice Gosport, Valerie Kelly, chief officer of Citizen's Advice Gosport, Dorinda Wolfe Murray, founding trustee for FirstLight Trust and Justin Oswald, support co-ordinator for FirstLight Trust. Picture: Sarah Standing (180864-9526)

Since the coronavirus lockdown, Citizens Advice Gosport has been offering video, telephone and online appointments to help tackle issues such as rent, debt, mental health and consumer issues.

But now, with social distancing measures in place, people can once again get their advice in person.

Chief officer of Citizens Advice Gosport, Valerie Kelly, believes that more can be done to help people by actually seeing them face-to-face.

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She said: ‘One of our concerns throughout this period has been reaching those residents who find themselves unable to access digital support networks.

‘There are some among us who are simply unable to talk to others on the telephone and some who do not have access to a computer or other such device.

‘It gives me great pleasure to announce that we have completed the changes to layout at our offices at Martin Snape House and, following all government guidance, can now offer clients a virtual or face-to-face appointment in a safe and secure environment.’

One client at one time will be allowed in the interview room, with staggered appointments and hand sanitiser.

Disposable face masks will also be provided for visitors.

According to Citizens Advice, the team’s adaptation to digital technology has allowed volunteers to continue serving the community.

Valerie added: ‘We could not have achieved this without the support of our volunteers, other community groups and a generous member’s grant from Hampshire County Council which has enabled us to install various Covid-based safety measures within the office.’

For info call 0808 223 1133.

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