This is a joint statement from Citizens Advice Mendip, Sedgemoor, West Somerset, Taunton and South Somerset in response to the Public Health guidance on Coronavirus.
We are very aware that over 50% of Citizens Advice in Somerset clients have health conditions and/or disabilities. Between our 5 organisations we helped over 20,000 clients last year. For this reason we must exercise extreme care in minimising the risk to infection for our clients and for our staff and volunteers.
We have taken the difficult decision to close our face to face services (including outreach) whilst also increasing capacity on our phones and email services. Please be assured that this decision has not been taken lightly.
The advice by phone service in Somerset is very well established and part of our general offer. All our systems are in place for a team of home based and office based advisers.
Clients can visit our respective websites for full details of their options or clients can call Adviceline: 03444 889 623
Each local Citizens Advice centre will appoint a daily lead responsible for dealing with clients in crisis and we will continue to make the Local Assistance Scheme available to those in crisis (Fuel, food, essential items). We will maintain close contact with local foodbanks and work with them to address any challenges as they arise.