The dedication of staff and volunteers at local charity Citizens Advice Oxfordshire South and Vale has allowed it to continue giving advice to those in need at this time.
The team rallied to ensure as many people as possible could be helped over the phone or through webchat. Two weeks into the lockdown, 70 volunteer advisers were operating the Advice Line service from their homes.
As part of Volunteers’ Week, which runs from June 1st to 7th, Citizens Advice Oxfordshire South and Vale wants to thank its 150 volunteers for their contribution not only during this exceptional time but throughout the year. Between them they contribute more than 1,000 hours to helping people each week.
In the last year it has helped over 11,000 people with problems such as debt, housing, benefit and employment issues.
Volunteer Virginia Parker, a specialist benefits adviser in the Abingdon office, said: “I get enormous pleasure in helping people in difficult circumstances to understand and get what they are entitled to.
“It can be very daunting to ask for help, so we do our best to put people at ease and help them through the process. There is nothing more rewarding than helping people to resolve their problems so they can move ahead with their lives.”
Jon Bright, chief officer at South and Vale, said: “Throughout the year our wonderful volunteers contribute their time and energy to make a huge difference to people’s lives and help keep our vital service running. We couldn’t do it without them.”