CITIZENS advice has put emergency measures in place to continue to provide its much-needed services.

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting people in so many ways and with many face-to-face sources of information and advice having to close their doors to the public it can be difficult to know where to turn for help.

Citizens Advice is often the first point of call for anyone with a problem and the Southend office help thousands of local people every year.

However, it has had to temporarily close its doors to members of the public as of March 22.

But, the dedicated staff and volunteers are striving to continue to provide advice remotely via telephone helplines and online chat facilities.

The website also offers comprehensive information.

This should enable anyone with an urgent matter to still be able to access help with issues such as debt, legal, employment, consumer, immigration and much more.

To access advice, those in need can choose from the following options:

● General advice is available by calling 01702 456354 or 01702 456352 with calls forwarded to home-based advisors.

Understandably, this is a limited service but will be available most days.

● The National Adviceline can also be reached Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 03444 111 444.

● Log onto to chat with an advisor online.

● People looking for advice on consumer issues, such as issues related to products or services purchased, can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or chat online to an advisor on the website as above.

● Universal Credit enquiries are handled on the Universal Credit "Help to Claim" line on 0800 1448444.

● Visit Twitter at @SouthendCAB or Citizens-Advice-Southend on Facebook.

These services may take slightly longer than usual to access as staff adapt to the new working structure.

Southend Citizen’s Advice CEO, Riz Awan, said: “We are very aware that Citizens Advice is critical to many people, especially as we all try to navigate through the difficulties that many of us will experience during the coronavirus pandemic.

"That is why we have moved fast to equip many of our staff and volunteers to work from home to provide help wherever possible.

"It is really sad that we have had to suspend our face-to-face service for a period of time to support the government’s latest guidelines, but despite this we will strive to be available to help as much as possible.

"We are looking into other ways in which we can help people to get the advice that they need during this period and will post updates regularly.”

Citizens Advice is also providing reliable and regularly updated advice on a range of issues related to the Coronavirus outbreak at