Citizens Advice Redbridge to open new South Woodford HQ as it unveils new five-day-a-week hotline
PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 October 2019
Citizens Advice Redbridge is set to unveil a radical change to its services tomorrow (Friday, November 1).
Operating from newly refurbished premises in South Woodford, phone advice will be available to the residents of Redbridge from 9am to 5pm, five days a week.
That is a monumental upgrade from the current hours its hotline operates - from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm on Tuesdays only.
The charity estimates that, due to the low number of hours it is able to man its phone line, it has only ever responded to somewhere between 10 and 20pc of its callers.
These longer hours have been made possible because Citizens Advice Redbridge is joining Adviceline, a national service with a local presence provided by the national Citizens Advice network.
Redbridge residents can access the service during opening hours by dialing 0300 3309063.
If local volunteers are available to take the call, help will be provided by advisers from Redbridge.
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If lines are busy or unavailable callers may receive assistance from advisers based in a national advice call centre.
Susanne Rauprich, chief executive of Citizens Advice Redbridge, said: "We hope that this is going to make access to advice easier.
"As one of the smallest Citizens Advice in the country, we are acutely aware that demand far outstrips our ability to respond.
"Good advice should be available to anyone who needs it. We hope that this move will go some way to achieving this."
Citizens Advice Redbridge first opened its doors on September 4 1939 and is celebrating its 80th birthday this year.
Its aim is to provide free, confidential, independent and impartial advice and campaign on big issues affecting people's lives.
Stephen Young, advice sessions supervisor said: "The refurbished offices in South Woodford will make the volunteering experience for our advisers much more pleasant.
"This is important for hardworking people who go out of their way to help those in need of help."
The opening of the South Woodford premises will be conducted by the Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Zulfiqar Hussain, and attended by volunteers, trustees, staff and friends of Citizens Advice Redbridge.