Generalist Advice team review 2020/21 2020/21 was an extraordinary year. Our Generalist Advice team Staff and Volunteers rose to the crisis caused by Covid-19, and rapidly started to work from home. A voicemail service was initiated on the Adviceline number, resulting in 61 messages for advice in the first week. We quickly got our Advisers online and working from home, and within a week were able to give advice within hours of receiving the initial call. Over the last year we have been operating a Call Back model with the callers going through an initial assessment system followed by a call back from an Adviser. This has worked extremely well, and we have increased our answer rate from 20% pre-Covid to over 80%. This means we are helping more clients every day. Over the last year we have helped nearly 5000 clients (a 10% increase) over the telephone and though emails and webchats. The type of client that we are helping has changed significantly – prior to Covid most of our clients were over 45 and male. But over the last year the majority of our clients are under 40 and female. The issues have also changed. Prior to the pandemic our clients were predominantly concerned with debt issues and disability benefits. Since the pandemic most issues have been about employment (particularly in regard to the Furlough scheme) and housing. Our Volunteers have continued to tirelessly give up their time. We restructured the way we deal with clients’ calls, and this has led to the development of a Telephone Assessor position – or initial call taker. A positive benefit from our new way of working is how we have expanded allowing volunteering from home. We would love to hear from anyone who now finds themselves looking for something satisfying to do with their spare time. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ How to get Advice Adviceline : 0800 144 8848 The 0800 number has an answerphone service and at peak times, we recommend that people leave voicemails. - Call 0800144 8848 and press * to hear the other options, and then press 0. - Please leave your details and a number that we can contact you on. - Someone will reply as soon as they can. --------------------- Textphone --------------------Or fill in our confidential webform Contact Us | (islehelp.me) -------------------- Webchat – via www.citizensadvice.org.uk .** If your enquiry is between 5pm to 8am you can leave an email. Enquiries through the national website will be answered by a Generalist Adviser from the national team.