Perth’s Citizen’s Advice Bureau has launched an online chat service this week to further help locals access information.
The webchat service – which launched on Monday – will allow users to access vital advice services.
It comes 74% of clients at the Bureau this year were new to using the service.
Throughout the pandemic, more than 5,600 Perth and Kinross residents have turned to the Citizens Advice Bureau for support.
Most of the support was given by phone and email, and bosses say the webchat service creates a platform with “additional reach and convenience”.
CEO of Perth Citizens Advice Bureau Jane Adams said: “The past year has shown that we can give high quality advice and support to people remotely by phone and email.
“We want to give people even greater choice about how they contact us and ensure we continue to be an accessible service to all.
“Our new webchat will provide that extra option providing flexibility and choice.”
She added: “We know taking that first step to seeking advice is the hardest, so we want to make sure that people can choose the option they are most comfortable with.
“We want to make it as easy as possible to get in touch with us for help. It may be for a quick question, a second opinion or perhaps something that has been a worry for some time like debts that have been building up.”
Impact of Covid-19
As Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, the branch plans to open its doors to people who wish to get support face-to-face.
Bosses say this will be an option alongside virtual methods of getting in touch.
The Bureau has noticed a surge in the number of people turning to it for advice amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The three biggest concerns in the area have been employment, debt and benefits.
Operations Manager Catherine Harper said: “This past year people have faced issues that they have never had to face before.
“74% of our clients this year have been new to using the service.
“As the country opens back up we don’t expect to see a reduction in demand as the impact of the pandemic continues to affect those in Perth and Kinross.
“If you need advice we urge you to get in touch with us. We’re here to help.”