Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service Opens Bureaux2nd July 2020
Media Contact: Phil Stewart 0300 303 4321 ext. 6131
Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service has, over the last 3 months, been delivering a valuable advice and support service to those most in need across our region by telephone and e mail whilst the bureaux at Annan, Dumfries and Stranraer were closed to the public. During this time they dealt with 3298 clients who contacted them with 5179 issues.
The top 5 areas of advice were:
1 – Benefits (46%) of which the main issues were Universal Credit and Personal Independent Payments.
2 – Employment (17%) of which the main issues were Pay and Entitlements, Terms and Conditions and Self Employment.
3 – Debt (8%) of which the main issues were Debt Arrangement Scheme, Rent Arrears, Personal Loans and Credit Cards.
4 – Legal (6%) of which the main issues were Benefits Tribunals, Employment Tribunals, Housing & Property Tribunals and Summary Cause.
5 – Finance and Charitable Support (4.5%) of which the main issues were Foodbank Referrals, Charitable Grants and General Financial Capability.
On 29 June they opened their bureau doors to the public through a soft opening that allowed them to test their safety systems and processes.
Phil Stewart, DAGCAS CEO said, “These are unprecedented times for everyone. DAGCAS are here to help people navigate through the challenges that they are facing. It has been an incredible effort by our staff and volunteers to get set up at home and in our offices to ensure that we were supporting our communities through this very difficult time and I am indebted to them.
I am concerned however that there will be a considerable number of people who have not been able to contact us for some much needed support due to having no access to telephone, e mail or digital device. Opening our bureaux has now allowed us to deliver a wider service and engage with those who are most needing to access our service.
For the week commencing 6 July our bureaux are open for appointments and a drop in service from 10 am-12 noon and 2pm -4pm, Monday- Friday. I must stress though that we are expecting high demand and would request that if you can contact us by telephone or through our website then you should continue to do so. This will be a quicker way of speaking to an adviser.
We would ask clients who are experiencing symptoms associated with coronavirus or are living with someone who is to not attend any of our bureaux. Those that do will have to follow the procedures that have been put in place to maintain a safe and healthy environment.
We will of course continue to follow government guidelines and these arrangements will be subject to on-going review”.
Our service can also be accessed by
- telephone at 0300 303 4321 (Free from Landlines but from mobile may vary). Advisers are available 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Thursday and to 4.30 pm on Friday
- email, fill out and send the enquiry form on our website at www.dagcas.org
We also have Freephone helplines for
- Universal Credit Help to Claim service at 0800 023 2581
- Money Talk Team (financial capability support) at 0800 085 7145
Phil Stewart is available for telephone interview by contacting him directly on the above number.
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