10:58AM, Tuesday 08 September 2020
People who need support with issues including debt, benefits applications and housing can still get the help they need from Citizens Advice Maidenhead & Windsor.
The charity has been forced to transform the way it operates due to the COVID-19 pandemic with staff and volunteers working from home rather than the company’s base in Marlow Road.
But interim chief executive Bill Feeney said the organisation remains ‘open for business’ with its legion of support staff available to help those who need advice.
A £15,000 grant from the Louis Baylis Trust, owners of the Maidenhead Advertiser, in its latest round of donations enabled the organisation to prepare its workers for home-working.
Mr Feeney said: “That was a really important grant that enabled us to pivot really quickly to remote working and buy laptops and mobile phones to continue providing our vital service.
“We really quickly realised this situation was going to increase demand and we found an increased number of cases in debt, housing issues and domestic violence as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Before the arrival of COVID-19, 47 per cent of the charity’s appointments with residents would be carried out face-to-face.
Advice is now offered either over the phone or through email but plans are in place for a limited re-opening of the company’s Marlow Road office next week.
Mr Feeney added: “We are so fortunate that our volunteers and staff have been tremendously flexible so we have been able to offer a full service.
“Each day we have a team of staff & volunteers based at home – helping clients by answering the phone, making call backs and proving advice and info by email.
“I want to get the message out to those that need us that we are open.”
Residents can call 03444 111 444 between 9am and 5pm on weekdays. They can also email by visiting https://maidenheadcab.org.uk/get-advice/forms/.
Visit www.maidenheadcab.org.uk for further online advice.