During the coming months, we will be doing everything we can to continue to help and support those in our communities who are socially excluded and most at risk. We know that working in partnership always makes us stronger and in these very difficult times we will be keen to work together and to provide support to other agencies who are also in the front line of responding to these new and unprecedented challenges.

This will not be business as usual for us and we stand ready to flex our service and use the expertise of our dedicated staff to respond to new and emerging needs as they arise. To that end, we are keen to keep open lines of communication with our partners and will be happy to discuss with you what support your service users and clients need and whether there are ways we can help each other to respond.

Our ICT allows us to enable our staff to work from home. So, from Monday 23rd March, we will close our face-to-face advice services in line with government guidelines on home working. We will, however, try our best to continue to provide a service as close to ‘normal’ as possible over the telephone (and using video calling where we can), and our staff will still be available to represent clients in court and tribunal.       

I am happy for any partner organisation to contact me direct, or for you to contact the person in our organisation with whom you normally liaise, to discuss closer working (while maintaining social distancing!) or to share your thoughts on what we might need to do to adapt our service to meet new needs.

We aim to keep our staff and their families safe so they can continue to help those people who rely on us and we wish you well in doing the same.

With all best wishes

Sue Bent

Chief Executive