More than 3,000 people helped by Eastbourne charity through pandemic

A charity in Eastbourne has revealed it has helped more than 3,000 people during the past year of the pandemic.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 12:48 pm

Citizens Advice Eastbourne had to change the way it worked when the pandemic came along, with staff and volunteers working from home and helping people via the phone, email and webchat.

A spokesperson for the branch of the charity said benefits, employment, housing and debt have been its top pandemic issues.

Citizens Advice Eastbourne said it’s dealt with employees who were denied furlough despite being told to shield, staff urged to go into work while they were self-isolating and families who were threatened with eviction despite rules being in place to protect them.

Staff and volunteers working from home SUS-210326-120546001

Sue Cook, volunteer adviser, said, “We’ve all been on a rollercoaster of change throughout this pandemic.

“We’ve spoken to people who’ve never used Citizens Advice before, have never claimed benefits before and have had a steady income for years, if not decades. Suddenly, they feel as if the rug has been pulled from under them and they don’t know what to do.

“We’re here to listen, support and then help them find a way forward, and it’s a reward to hear the relief in their voices at the end of the call.”

Alan Bruzon, chief officer, said, “I’d like to thank our staff and volunteers who’ve continued to help people find a way forward as we face the problems of this pandemic together.

“Our advisers have been able to help people check what benefits they’re entitled to, navigate the furlough scheme and ensure they’re getting all the help and support that is on offer.

“We know people are going to need our help as we begin on the road to recovery and we urge anyone that needs some support to get in touch as soon as possible.”

For information and advice contact Citizens Advice Eastbourne on 03444 111 444.