THESE are obviously worrying times for everyone right across the community right now with all of us concerned about the coronavirus and how it affects us and our loved ones.

Whether it’s us as individuals worried about our jobs and our health, or whether it’s businesses worried about their finances, it’s a time of anxiety for everyone.

Things are moving at such a fast pace that it is easy for people to feel overwhelmed about what is going on around them and the effect this will have upon them.

It’s important at times like this to fully support each other and take comfort from the fact that we are all in this together.

Situations such as this can bring out the best and the worst in people.

At Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors, we want to reassure you that when we say we are always at your side, we mean it. We are here to help.

We are proud to be an integral part of this community, doing our bit to help people through these difficult times.

We’ve stopped saying it’s business as usual, because there is nothing usual about how life is for us all right now. But what we do say is that we are here for you.

Like many businesses, we have adopted home-working and have embraced technology to ensure that we can provide continuous service to you at all times.

We are here so that you can get good advice whenever you need it.

People are understandably anxious. They have lots of queries and they want answers. Providing answers to those questions is what we are here for

We have found there has been a lot of confusion among people because as soon as the Government makes an announcement, it raíses more questions for people than it answers.

That’s not to be critical of the Government. I think ministers are doing the best they can in the circumstances. It’s just that the situation is moving so fast, and people apply their own circumstances to what is being said and then naturally have a lot of questions.

We have seen a rise in calls from employers and employees concerned about the closing of businesses and people being asked to work from home.

The whole issue of putting employees on furlough has also raised a lot of queries about who is eligible and how it will work in practice.

Our employment team are extremely busy trying to provide the information as quickly as we can.

People have also been assessing their own personal circumstances and inquiring about wills. Our private client team are doing their best to help and give people the service they need for peace of mind.

We have also had an increase in contact from families where the arrangements for looking after a child are affected by the Government’s order for most of us to stay at home. People want to know where they stand legally on their rights in those circumstances.

When we have information which we think will benefit people across the community, we have been using social media and our website to share as much as we can, as soon as we can, and we are offering a free question-and-answer option online to help with these queries.

We hope the continuous service we are providing is giving people reassurance. We hope that people gain comfort from knowing we are still contactable, and are here to help everyone as much as we can. Please follow all the Government and public health guidelines and, most of all, stay safe.

l To contact Carol Fish, call (01228) 516666.