Citizens Advice to help more ‘in demand’ customers

Services at both volunteer-led centres will now open on a Tuesday and Thursday. Picture: Citizens Advice
Services at both volunteer-led centres will now open on a Tuesday and Thursday. Picture: Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice services in East Grinstead and Burgess Hill are changing.

Services at both volunteer-led centres, which currently operate four days a week, will now open on a Tuesday and Thursday.

Due to increased demand by customers wishing to access the service via phone, web chat and email services. rather than the traditional face-to face method, the charity is now allocating a greater resource to this.

From April 5, the charity will be running two extra outreach services in East Grinstead – one at the foodbank, operating from the Jubilee Centre every Wednesday morning, from 10am to 12pm, and another at the library every Wednesday afternoon, from 2pm to 5pm.

The charity is also actively developing opportunities for providing extra services in Burgess Hill.

During April, an outreach will operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10am to 1pm, from the Help Point in Church Walk.

Julie Martin, chief executive cfficer of Central and South Sussex Citizens Advice, said: “We’re continually reviewing our services to make sure they meet the needs of our clients and of local residents.

“More and more clients are seeking our services via phone, web chat and email, as well as face to face. To keep reaching as many people as possible as well as remaining cost effective and competitive for our funders, we need to provide the service our clients want, where they want it.

“We’re delighted that our two new outreach services in East Grinstead, at the foodbank and library, will reach an audience who may not previously have come to our main centre for advice.

“We place a huge amount of value on the commitment and dedication of our teams at all our centres, and we’ve told them so. Our volunteers give an amazing service to local people and we’re really proud of the way they’re embracing newer ways of working, such as web chat.

Central and South Sussex Citizens Advice, which runs the two services as well as six other main centres in the county, is making the changes as part of an exercise across the whole of the organisation.

It means the charity can continue to meet the needs of local people into the future – both for those who want to access advice differently, and by going out into the community, while modernising services and extending their reach.

Citizens Advice offers advice and information to clients on a huge range of subjects including welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment and much more.

The service has a huge impact on the local community, helping almost 25,000 people across Central and South Sussex from April 2015 to March 2016.

Nearly 275 volunteers work for the organisation.

The service in Haywards Heath will not change, continuing to operate five days per week, Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm.

For locations and opening hours of all local Citizens Advice services, as well as to access webchat and email services, please visit www.cassca.org.uk.

To speak to someone on the phone, please call 0344 477 1171.

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