At Shelter Scotland we talk to people the length and breadth of the country. On our National Helpline, through our email advice services, in our local Hubs and shops and through fundraising and campaigning, we get out there and talk to people about the housing problems they are facing and how we can help them.

In addition to the people we speak to face to face or on the phone, our website is an incredible online resource for people to “Get Advice” on their housing issues.  Last year alone over 600,000 people visited for advice!

In order to support these digital advice seekers, we have recently piloted an online live chat service on the website.  It has been so successful, that we have decided to go for it and bring Shelter Scotland into the 21st century by launching this as a brand new service to our clients.  So we formally invite you to come and chat with us.

Since 1 April, we have already logged 450 “live chats”. The response from service users have been extremely positive. Of those people helped by agents on the digital advice platform, 94 per cent said they were either very satisfied (80%) or satisfied (14%) by the service they received.

Our live chat agents are a team of dedicated volunteers who are on hand, ready to navigate people around our website, explain legal terms, and provide active information and signposting.  Our volunteers are trained in Housing Law Information and Advice at National Standards type 1. and are supported by a full time Digital Advice Co-ordinator. The volunteers themselves are from a wide range of different backgrounds.  The live chat service is available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

People come to live chat with us to ask about a range of housing issues such as where they can find out if their landlord has registered their deposit, where they can find their local authority homeless department or what to expect when making a homeless application.

This week (1-7 June) is National Volunteer Week.  The Digital Advice Service is currently providing opportunities for 11 volunteers but as demand for the service increases, the facility will be expanded to 4 days then to 5 days a week, thus creating more exiting opportunities for people to volunteer with us.

So…………..if you are on our Get Advice pages and need help navigating the information, or if you can commit to giving Shelter Scotland 6 hours of volunteering each week then please do come and chat with us.

Yvonne Stevenson
Digital Advice Co-ordinator


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