Citizens Advice Broxtowe have been working hard to make sure the people of Broxtowe can access advice services during the Coronavirus lockdown. Since 23rd March we have helped people with 970 problems, the most common enquiries relate to:
People are turning to us during the pandemic as their income reduces and they are unsure what support they can obtain until such time as they can return to work. Others have been made redundant as a result of business interruption.
We are also finding that a new group of clients are turning to us for the first time. The demographics of our client base has changed to a much flatter age profile.
Making it Easier to get Advice
Whatever your situation we’ll try to help you find a way forward, you’re not alone. Since the suspension of our face to face services in response to social distancing we have been working hard to provide alternatives, so that everyone can access support from us. If you need help or are unsure of your rights and entitlements please do not hesitate to contact us. Since 23rd March we have:
- Provided information technology so that 22 of our advisers can deliver advice services from home by telephone, email or webchat.
- 10 of the above are volunteers giving their time for free.
- From next week 2 more volunteers will be telephoning our clients who are over 70 to ensure they are getting all the help and support they need.
- We continued to work with Nottinghamshire Mind to proactively contact our clients who are experiencing problems with their mental health.
- We have set up a dedicated advice-line for GPs in Broxtowe to refer patients who have non-clinical problems that are having an impact on their wellbeing.
- Where clients have provided permission for us to contact them by email we are sending out information and contact details.
- Local food-banks are distributing our leaflets in food parcels.
- We are posting regular news updates on our website to make sure people are fully informed about the help our community partners are providing.
Domestic abuse on the rise
Nottingham firm Boots made national BBC news recently after making their high street stores safe places for domestic abuse victims. The move comes after national figures show a rise in the incidents of domestic abuse during the COVID-19 lockdown.
At Citizens Advice Broxtowe we are working closely with our partners, Broxtowe Women’s Project (BWP). If you are experiencing domestic abuse, do not suffer in silence. BWP can be contacted on 07914 634190 or 01773 719111 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Millions facing financial cliff edge when coronavirus protections end
New research from Citizens Advice has revealed that over 13 million people have already been unable to pay, or expect to be unable to pay, at least one bill because of the coronavirus outbreak. Of these, almost 11 million have missed or expect to miss a bill that would leave them vulnerable to severe consequences – including eviction, bailiff enforcement or disconnection – when Covid-19 financial protections end.
Some sectors, including energy, water and mortgages, have established frameworks for helping people out of debt in a sustainable way. Others, including the private rented sector and local authorities, do not.
At Citizens Advice Broxtowe we are encouraging residents to contact us now and not wait until the lockdown is over, that might be too late. There are plenty of actions you can take now to reduce the financial impact once the pandemic ends. We are here to help you.
Our Debt-lines are open Monday to Friday:
01773 768363 (Eastwood area)
01159 173802 (Beeston area)
The pandemic has provided opportunities for scams and fraud. Please follow the advice of our partners Nottinghamshire Victim Care. Their website is full of helpful information and if you have been a victim of a scam call one of their trained advisers.