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Expert advice available on national CAB helpline

By Gregor White

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Derek Mitchell, Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive.
Derek Mitchell, Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive.

A new Citizens Advice Bureau helpline is free to call from today, supplementing the service currently offered by Scotland’s 59 local advice offices.

Staffed by trained CAB advisers, anyone in Scotland can call 0800 028 1456 for expert advice on any issue.

The helpline will initially operate from 9am until 5pm, Monday to Friday.

While local CAB offices are currently closed as part of the coronavirus lockdown, staff are continuing to provide advice over the phone, by email or online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Scotland

Launching the new helpline, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) chief executive Derek Mitchell said: "The Citizens Advice network in Scotland has been giving advice to people in Scotland for over 80 years.

"Now, as the country faces the unprecedented challenge of Covid-19, we are adapting our service to ensure we can still give people the advice they need, when and how they need it.

"With this new helpline, we are giving people in Scotland the simplest possible access to top-quality, free advice they know they can trust.

"This helpline is not intended to replace our local face-to-face advice, but to supplement it.

"When this crisis is over and things return to normal, people will still be able to visit their local CAB. But with Covid-19 having created an extraordinary set of circumstances we know people need to access our advice in a way that best suits them.

“As always, the service offered by our helpline is completely free, impartial and confidential.

“The CAB network in Scotland helps hundreds of thousands of people every year, putting money back into people’s pockets and giving them confidence about their rights.

"This new helpline will boost our service considerably and give people greater choice in how they access our advice, not just now during the pandemic but going forward afterwards as well."

Scotland's cabinet secretary for communities and local government, Aileen Campbell, said: "I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to support this helpline with £100,000 to ensure people can still access vital advice and information during this pandemic.

"Many people will be concerned about their finances and jobs, and accessing social security, possibly for the first time during this pandemic.

"This helpline means people can still get help from a trained advisor even while face-to-face advice in local bureaux has been suspended.

"While people are being advised to stay home, this is a service that will now be available to those that need it to understand the support available to them."

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