During a time when volunteers and charity staff across the world have stepped up to give extra support to people who need their help, Citizens Advice in West Sussex (North, South, East) has been no exception.

We have continued to provide advice to people in need of help, with over 2,000 people supported since the Coronavirus crisis escalated despite having to temporarily close our face to face services.   Almost 100 volunteers have rallied to work from home since the crisis began, alongside remote-working staff, meaning local people can continue to get advice over the phone, email and web chat.

Our Chair, Irene Campbell, sent a message of thanks and support:

‘To all volunteers helping people across West Sussex, and especially to our own wonderful team, thank you for all of your support to keep our local charities running: I could not be prouder than to work with such a dedicated, committed group of staff and volunteers. They have answered the call to help local people at a time of need; mobilised and adapted to a different way of working, and helped more than 2,000 clients in the last three weeks alone, making an enormous difference to people’s financial stability, stress levels and wellbeing. I can’t thank them enough for their hard work and resilience throughout this period so far. I also want to thank the public for their patience as we adjusted and whilst we recruit additional volunteers to help us.’

We have seen employment enquiries increase by 54% [i]since the Coronavirus crisis began, from residents who have lost their job or been furloughed, and needing to know what to do next. Advisers are also taking calls from people who have lost their home, struggled to access food and needing to find out which benefits they should apply for, including Jobseeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit, disability benefits and Council Tax Support.

We are a registered charity and depend on grants and donations.  If you’d like to support us at this challenging time, you can help when shopping at home by using Amazon Smile https://smile.amazon.co.uk  or easyfundraising https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk  and searching for Citizens Advice in West Sussex (North, South, East) as your chosen charity for the retailers to donate to.

If you need advice, please call us on 0344 477 1171 or click ‘contact us’ above to use our web chat or email service.

[i] Source CAWS data 2/3/20 compared with 3/2/20 to 28/2/20 main issues recorded