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Face-to-face contact ended back on March 19 – doesn't that seem half an age ago – for staff and clients at the Western Isles Citizens Advice Service.

But yesterday (March 28th) a spokesman said: "I want to emphasise that our services are available to everyone in the Western Isles during these troubled times.

"We have staff , some working from home, ready to answer any queries and to provide our support.

"There has been a big increase in the people contacting us but we are determined to help everyone."

 WICAS said a week ago that they needed "to change the way we currently work to ensure, as far as possible, the health of our clients, staff , volunteers and the continuance of the CAB service.

"We are proud that over 70% of the clients we help are seen face-to-face – this will need to end for a temporary period.

"From close of business yesterday Wednesday March 18th we will not be able to see clients in person. In effect, the 4 CABx will be closed to all visitors. 

"To compensate for this we will offer all our clients dedicated phone /Skype appointments.

"Please be assured that all the support, knowledge and expertise we normally show will be extended to these phone conversations. Our help and support will be extended to make sure we help every client as much as possible over as long as is needed.

To receive help a client will need to call their nearest CAB office.

All our office phone lines will remain open

  • BARRA CAB 01871 810608
  • HARRIS CAB 01859 502431
  • LEWIS CAB 01851 705727
  • UIST CAB 01870 602421

"Information will be updated daily and we will use our Facebook page to inform as many people as possible.

"You will also know that we store food for the FareShare scheme – all our duties to make sure food is available to our colleagues will not change.

"In fact, we have asked for larger deliveries as the numbers of people being helped by our colleagues in many organisations in the Western Isles has increased significantly.

Needless to say we are in constant contact with Citizens Advice Scotland and Scottish Government.