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Citizens Advice Wokingham receives week’s worth of calls in day

Picture: Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay

CITIZENS Advice received more than a week’s worth of calls on Monday, as residents reach out for support in lockdown.

Jake Morrison, the charity’s CEO said calls rose last week, after the borough jumped from Tier 2 to Tier 4 in a matter of days.

“As ever, we’re encouraging people to come to us as early as possible,” he said. “We are open over the next few weeks.

“It’s just about reaching out — you don’t have to put your issues on pause.”

Last year, the charity stayed open for Christmas, supporting residents whose benefit applications were rejected.

Mr Morrison said the charity received roughly 60 more calls last week, than the previous week.

Most residents were looking for help with food and grant applications, followed by debt support, benefits and tax credits, housing and health.

There were 285 clients, who were helped with 491 issues — and Mr Morrison expects calls to rise further into the new year.

“January is always a busy time for us,” he said. “We see a lot of money problems, we always do. It can only be worse this year.”

He said the Christmas debt, combined with redundancy pay drying up could bring more people to the charity in need of support.

“These issues are becoming much more visible,” he added. “The earlier we can help, the better. The whole point of doing what we do is to pull support together from different organisations.”

He said charity volunteers often refer clients to further support, helping to coordinate the available help.

“We really can provide a package of support for people,” he added.

The charity is open today from 10am until 4pm, and Monday, December 27 until Wednesday, December 30, from 10am until 4pm.

It will reopen on Saturday, January 2, from 9am to 1pm and then resume normal hours from Monday, January 4.

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