My Money Matters community adviser Karen Williams has continued to help people throughout the coronavirus crisis in the Three Parishes Big Local area of Gobowen, St Martins and Weston Rhyn.
The Citizens Advice Shropshire project had to adapt to a telephone-based service in March after coronavirus was declared a pandemic.
Since lockdown began, Karen has supported 38 unique clients with 205 issues. Residents from the three parishes have sought free and confidential advice on disability benefits, universal credit, pension credit, council tax, death and bereavement and housing problems.
Through the advice provided by My Money Matters, clients have collectively received over £60,160 in benefit or tax credit awards. This is £3,166 on average per client.
Karen said: "During these challenging and uncertain times, it is critical that households across the Three Parishes understand what help is available to them in terms of benefits, grants, budgeting support and debt advice.
"Please don’t struggle in silence, contact your My Money Matters Adviser on 07526 169305 for free, confidential and timely advice."
Drop in and appointments
She provides advice on a broad range of matters relating to household finances and maximising e.g. energy savings, benefit entitlements, warm home payments, housing benefit, redundancy support and emergency housing.
Prior to lockdown, the community information and advice service was made up of a mixture of drop in and appointments at St Martins Community Centre, Weston Rhyn Institute, Gobowen library, Oswestry Job Centre and Castle Health Centre Chirk, as well as home visits.
Since the project started in 2017, the information and advice delivered by community adviser Karen Williams has had many positive outcomes including securing over £430,187 of income gained for people helped across the Three Parishes.
My Money Matters is delivered by Citizens Advice Shropshire and funded until 2021 by Three Parishes Big Local as part of their £1million Big Lottery investment in these three villages.
The need for the My Money Matters project was identified through research and consultation with local people, which recognised that many residents required help in managing their household budgets.
Find out more at cabshropshire.org.uk/mymoneymatters or ring Karen on 07526 169305 Tuesday – Thursday.