Citizens Advice volunteer for Harrogate, Caroline
Citizens Advice volunteer for Harrogate, Caroline

Citizens Advice Craven and Harrogate Districts sees record number of people needing help

27 April 2020

Citizans Advice in Craven and Harrogate Districts has seen a big increase in calls for emergency assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.

The group, which includes Harrogate, Skipton and Ripon has helped 269 people in the past four weeks, 69 per cent of who, worryingly have a disability or long-term health condition.

Managers at the Charity said they had seen a significant increase in the number of people contacting them about their employment, as they faced uncertainty about their work and income.

The organisation has moved its systems online and to the phones with staff and volunteers working from home because of concerns over staffing face to face interviews with people seeking help during the lockdown.

Between 27 March and 24 April this year, the service helped 269 people. The main issues of concern dealt with by advisers were Universal Credit and other benefits 169, employment 66, housing 24 and family 15.

Chief executive officer Edward Pickering said:

These are unprecedented and challenging times for our clients, staff and volunteers. The decision to suspend face-to-face services for the foreseeable future to support the Government’s latest guidelines, was an exceedingly difficult one. Citizens Advice was born out of the crisis at the end of the Second World War and we are now again supporting people to get through difficult times.

I am extremely proud of our staff and volunteers who have swiftly adapted to these new working conditions and have gone above and beyond in, giving extra time to help our clients who are now more in need of us than ever before. Our services are much busier than normal but please bear with us, we will get to you as soon as we possibly can.

We are working hard with our partners, local charities and local authorities to make sure people’s needs are met as soon as possible. We are also constantly updating our Social Media with new legislation, benefit changes and to keep people informed as the Covid19 Pandemic evolves.

Just this week, for example, the organisation helped to sort out a complicated furlough issue for a person working in the hospitality industry who was concerned that her bus travel would put her young family in danger from coronavirus. We were also able to help the employee an employer to come to an arrangement which was satisfactory for both. The charity has also helped many people move on to benefits for the first time.

Online advice is available 24/7 at

You can get advice by emailing us on our website:

Or you can call us and leave a message anytime, we will get back to you as soon as we can on.

Craven District: 01756 457222
Harrogate District: 01423 503591

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