Covid-19 has changed all of our lives and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The implications of the pandemic have brought the importance of adaptability, as individuals and as an organization, into sharp focus. 

At Citizens Advice IW, we have had to alter the way in which we provide clients support due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. With the future implications of Covid still remaining an uncertainty, we felt it necessary to gain some understanding on how we can best deliver our service going forward. As part of this commitment, over the summer of 2021 we conducted a survey of IW residents, designed to gauge their views on the service we offer and the current desires of clients and potential clients.  


Charitable Status of Citizens Advice 

We wanted to find out whether people knew that we are a Charity.

Over 60% of respondents knew that we are a free and confidential service and are here for the best interests of our clients.

However, given that 20% of respondents did not know that we are a charity, we need to let more people know about the free, confidential, impartial and independent advice that our local charity provides. 


Call Back Model

During the last year we have introduced a ‘call-back’ model of answering calls, taking a client’s information and details of their issue, with an Adviser calling back to give the advice. Not only is this a more efficient process – we are answering over 80% of our calls - but we have found that we have been able to help more than 40% more clients over the pandemic than we did before. 

We wanted to know what the public thought about continuing with this model and asked about their communication preferences.

The results of the survey told us:

Only 9 participants said they would only be able to use face to face (F2F) communication to interact with our service.

Every other participant said they have, or would be happy to, use some other form of communication.

Overall, participants seemed to mostly favour F2F or telephone communication with participants showing that they were equally comfortable with these.

21% of participants actually said they wouldn’t use F2F communication at all.


What have we done so far?

We have opened up appointment-only face-to-face triage advice services at:

  • Isle Help Centre at County Hall, Newport,
  • Ryde Library on Mondays,
  • Our Place sessions Freshwater on Tuesday mornings, and at
  • Ryde Aspire on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. 

Our specialist Teams are also using these locations for appointments.

We have brought this in as a response to public demand and to ensure that only those who cannot communicate with us in any other way are offered an appointment.  

How to contact us

We ask all clients to contact us through the 0800 144 8848 free telephone service or the enquiry form. They will be triaged by an Adviser, and if the client needs a face-to-face appointment then this is booked at the most convenient location we can offer. 

As the Covid restrictions come and go we feel that it is necessary to have a flexible approach. We will be reviewing our services at regular intervals to ensure that we continue to use our resources of staff and volunteer advisers to help Island residents in the best possible way.