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Citizens Advice County Durham Continues to Provide Advice during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Citizens Advice County Durham Continues to Provide Advice during the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

Citizens Advice provides advice on a range of issues – including things that are going to be on a lot of people’s minds as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic such as benefits, statutory sick pay, housing and debt. Citizens Advice County Durham has had to take measures to protect the health and wellbeing of volunteers, clients and staff but is still able to provide advice, even during isolation.

 

Stuart Dexter, Citizens Advice County Durham, Chief Officer said:

‘Due to Covid 19 we have had to temporarily close our face-to-face advice services to be able to protect our staff, volunteers and clients - however we have worked hard to ensure that we have telephone support in place to be able to continue to answer your questions and provide you with the advice that you need.

 

At this time our services are needed more than ever and we have put extra resources in place to cover the additional telephone demand that we expect to see over the coming weeks. All of our amazing staff and volunteers are working very hard to answer your calls but, please do bear with us if waiting times are a little longer than normal.’

 

Information is also available via the Citizens Advice County Durham website, where they will be providing regular service updates.

 

Their web address is https://www.citizensadvicecd.org.uk and they can be contacted by telephone in the following ways:

 

Adviceline:                                        0300 330 9027 Monday to Friday 10am-4pm

Debt Adviceline:                              0300 323 2000 Monday to Friday 9am-1pm

Consumer Helpline:                         0808 223 1133 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm

 

Universal Credit New Claims Free Helpline:        0800 144 8 444 Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm (if you have received your first Universal Credit payment then please call our Adviceline).

DCC additional funding for AAP

Durham County Council (DCC) announced yesterday that £1.4 million of funding will be released to AAPs in order to provide much-needed support during the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition to this funding, DCC are also providing local councillors with flexibility to use their neighbourhood budgets to support community groups and the voluntary sector by releasing revenue funding previously allocated for capital projects.  This flexibility, if fully utilised, will provide up to a further £1.76 million of financial support to County Durham communities. 

 

More information on this funding can be found at https://www.durham.gov.uk/article/23053/-1-4-million-funding-pot-for-hard-working-community-groups .

 

This is really positive news for all AAPs and the communities that we need to support in these very difficult times and more details on the funding will follow in due course. 

 

We have also been actively working to support our communities via two virtual community hubs (please note the service is also provided on weekends).  You can find more information on the work of the hubs here http://www.durham.gov.uk/covid19help.  Essentially we will support people with their requests for help by signposting them to local groups, other DCC services, agency support and/or national initiatives.  Another big role that we are undertaking, as part of the hub delivery, is to provide support to individuals, where appropriate, directly to their homes.  This service is being provided with the essential support from a large network of volunteers from within DCC.   As said, you can find all the information you need on the hubs by following the link above. 

 

Another element of the key work we are undertaking includes collecting and promoting information on groups/services that are currently being provided in our community and across the county as a whole.  This information is being continually updated and promoted via the countywide Locate website https://www.durhamlocate.org.uk/ .  We hope this website will serve as a central point for information for residents during this immensely difficult period.   If you think we are missing anything on the website then please follow the instructions on Locate to submit this information or contact the Spennymoor AAP Team if you have any queries.