NORTHUMBERLAND’S citizen advice service is still available to residents despite the coronavirus lockdown.

Staff and volunteers were mobilised to give one-to-one advice over the phone and by email since the start of lockdown on March 23.

Residents have been in touch with concerns over universal credit and relationship issues.

Rachel Turnbull, operations manager for Citizens Advice Northumberland said: “We want to reassure people that our service is still very much available, albeit via different methods.

“We can still help and we are still here for anyone who needs us during these uncertain times.

“People have been getting in touch to ask about Universal Credit claims, for help accessing emergency provisions including food and fuel, and about employment concerns particularly relating to their rights under furlough. We have also, unfortunately, seen a rise in the number of people contacting us with relationship problems."

County councillor Gordon Stewart, who represents Prudhoe South, praised the service. He said: “Citizen’s Advice is a fantastic service.

"These are challenging times for many people.

"Anyone can find themselves in need of advice, support, and guidance.”