Making the most of your call to a bureau
All of our bureaux offer a telephone service at specific times, when you can call without an appointment for a short telephone interview. This call will help you to get advice on the next step you need to take. Our trained and supervised volunteers staff these sessions.
Once you have had this short interview we might help you with some basic information or arrange a telephone callback to go through the problem in more detail. We might book you an appointment if the issue is a bit more complex or arrange for you to see a specialist adviser.
We are working hard to help people access our help and one way of us doing this is by improving our telephone advice. This is a work in progress and we are training more and more of our volunteers to give advice and information over the telephone.
Landline: 0844 499 4103
(Call charges to 0844 number are charged at 5p per minute from a BT landline)
Mobile: 0300 456 2568
(When calling from a mobile using the 0300 all charges are at your mobile provider's standard rate or inclusive free minutes)
Advisers are happy to call you back on request if the call charges are a problem.
Opening times (excluding bank holidays)
Monday - Friday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Before you call
To make the most of your telephone call it's helpful if you can provide as much information as possible about your problem when you make the call. This supports us in giving you the most relevant information and advice for your problem. We need to hear about any paperwork you have and be made aware of any urgent deadlines. Please take a look at the information you need to have to hand for when you call us.
If you do not speak English, or are looking on here on behalf of somebody else who doesn't speak English, please have somebody with you when you call who can translate. Unfortunately, we currently have very limited access to translation services. If English is not your first language,
self-help information in various languages is also available via Adviceguide.
When you call
When you call our bureau you will be greeted by a volunteer telephone adviser who will welcome your call to Citizens Advice Trafford, briefly explain our 'Gateway' system and ask for some of your details. The details we will ask for include your name and address and a short description of what you would like assistance with.
We also ask questions about your age, ethnic origin, household income etc. As an equalities organisation this information is really important to us because it helps us monitor who we are helping. It helps us target our services at people who aren't getting good advice. The information also helps us to show our funders that we help all of Trafford's communities, in different areas and from different backgrounds.
We always make sure that this information is anonymous and we will never allow it to identify any individuals - your confidentiality is protected at all times.
Initial 'Gateway' interview
Once our telephone volunteers have taken your details, you will then get the opportunity to have a short 'Gateway Interview' with that adviser - we sometimes call these volunteers 'Gateway Assessors'. The idea behind this short interview is that it helps us to understand the nature of your problem and agree on what the next step should be. The next step could include:
After your initial 'Gateway Interview' we may arrange for you to get a call from one of our volunteer 'Generalist Advisers'. This is when you will be able to discuss your problem in more detail. Your adviser will explain your options and the possible outcomes of the different options. This will then inform you in making a decision and confirming whether further guidance and support is needed. This could be support to:
Unfortunately we only have a limited number of volunteer advisers on duty each day and may be unable to provide a full interview to everybody. If this happens we will do our very best to make an appointment which will be either face-to-face or via the telephone.
Appointments with our 'Specialist Caseworkers' in welfare benefits, debt and employment are available to our clients with complex problems. Access to our specialists depends on your circumstances and the requirements of our funders. In the first instance you should visit any of our bureaux or call our telephone adviceline to talk to an adviser.
Can we make an appointment for you?
Appointments can only be made after you have attended a drop-in session or called our telephone adviceline and had a short initial interview with a Gateway Assessor to confirm how best we can help you.
Do we offer home visits?
Citizens Advice Trafford is not currently funded to offer a home visiting service and we suggest contacting our telephone adviceline where you will be able to discuss your problem with an adviser.