Islanders once again have full access to free, face-to-face, confidential, impartial advice from today, as a busy local charity reopens its doors to clients.
Citizens Advice Guernsey has reopened its office on The Bridge after switching to a reduced telephone advice service during this year’s lockdown. Deputy CEO Mrs Ali Marquis commented: ‘I’m so pleased that we’re open again. As always, telephone advice is still available, but being able to offer face-to-face meetings again is important, as many clients prefer to deal with an Adviser in person.’
Mrs Marquis said that the reopening also brings other benefits: ‘Being back in the office means we’re also back to our normal opening hours, and with our full complement of trained Advisers. That’s a return to full operating capacity, which is important as the pandemic has created some very real problems for people that don’t necessarily end with the lockdown.’
Citizens Advice Guernsey recorded an increase of 14 percent in the number of clients during this year’s lockdown, compared with the same period in 2020. CEO Mrs Kerry Ciotti explained: ‘We’ve seen the biggest increases in enquiries relating to employment and housing, which are fundamental parts of people’s lives. The pandemic has had a major impact on many Islanders, who are looking for help. That’s what we’re here for.’
Citizens Advice Guernsey continued operating during lockdown, closing its office and offering a reduced service. Mrs Ciotti commented: ‘Our advice process follows strict guidelines from the national charity, which made working from home a challenge. The fact that we managed to keep going was down to the determination of our volunteers, along with the generous support of Resolution IT and Sure Community Foundation. I’m so grateful to all of them.’
Citizens Advice Guernsey gives free, confidential and impartial advice on any subject to around 4,000 Islanders each year, which is around eight percent of the adult population. The charity also offers appointments with specialist Money Advisers, for help with negotiation on unmanageable debt, as well as budgeting.
Citizens Advice Guernsey is located at Bridge Avenue, St Sampson, and is open on weekdays (see note 2). Trained advisers can also be contacted by telephone, by calling 242266.