Advice Services in Sheffield Long established infrastructure of decentralised advice. 15 neighbourhood advice centres located in areas of greatest poverty. Neighbourhood provision supplemented by city- wide services. Community Legal Advice Services South Yorkshire (CLASSY) taking strategic overview and leading on joint initiatives.
Sheffield CAB Debt Support Unit Runs BiS Financial Inclusion Fund Face to Face Debt Advice Project – 9 debt advisers placed at advice centres with demonstrably greatest unmet need for debt advice in their catchment. Runs other debt advice services with city-wide remit eg FIF Debt and Disability, Royal British Legion, RSL Project. Provides training and consultancy support for advice centres and other frontline agencies.
Online Debt Referral Scheme 13 advisers (FIF and Council funded) make available 3 appointment slots each week. Appointment booked online and confirmation email generated and sent to debt adviser. System currently operating within advice centres network – planned roll out to other agencies delayed due to lack of capacity on the system.
Joint Early Intervention Debt Advice Project Lack of capacity within debt advice sector means that many people who seek advice dont get it – or get inappropriate advice from commercial providers. Arrears management and evictions are expensive for RSLs – paying for early intervention debt and benefits advice can make sound business sense. Brings together 9 RSLs and Sheffield City Council to fund Project to deliver debt advice specifically for its tenants. Service will be delivered via outreach surgeries at RSL offices and other locations, home visit and appointments at DSU offices. Each RSL may decide its own level of buy-in – the referral entitlement is pro-rata to financial contribution.
Financial Capability Initiatives Training on credit and debt awareness, saving, banking and budgeting and making good referrals, for frontline staff and consumers. Money support workers – provide pre-debt advice interview to work through Personal Budget and set up savings options and progress money savings ideas. Money savers being recruited and trained to work one- to-one with people on low incomes. Financial Capability Network set up to share information and best practice.
Contact details Steve Wilcox Sheffield CAB Debt Support Unit Steve.email@example.com Tel: 0114 250 1144
Face to face debt advice in Leeds Leeds: Population 770,000 Economic success story but: 27% population live in 20% most deprived areas in England City aim to narrow the gap between the most deprived communities and the rest of the city Leeds Strategic Plan aims to increase provision of debt advice and affordable credit
Exclusion to Inclusion research 2004 17% have loans with door step lenders, Pawnbrokers, Cheque Cashers 38% of lone parents have such loans 23% borrowing to pay for daily living expenses or to pay off other debts 25,000 in need of debt advice in most deprived areas of Leeds Debt advice capacity in Leeds, 2004: 8 advisers in Leeds 3 month waiting lists
Leeds Financial Inclusion Partnership Leeds City Council Leeds advice agencies Leeds CAB Chapeltown CAB Burley Lodge Advice Centre St Vincent Support Centre Ebor Gardens Advice Centre Statutory agencies Private sector
Leeds Money Advice Partnership bid to FIF –13 new debt adviser posts –Additional 2,600 debt cases handled each year –Clients assisted to deal with debts to the value of more than £30 million each year (the median value of client debt nationally being £10,500) –Debt clients incomes increased by over £1 million each year
What do we do? Debt advice is free, independent, confidential and reliable: Independent: not part of any statutory body or private organisation and only act in the clients best interest Confidential: never disclose information about clients or progress with individual cases, unless have written authorisation from clients Reliable: all Leeds debt advice agencies have the governments CLS Quality Mark and adopt nationally agreed processes
What do we do? Deal with emergencies, e.g. court action, bailiffs visits, disconnections Establish total debts and total income Identify priority debts e.g. rent/mortgage, utilities, Council Tax Identify non-priority debts e.g. bank overdraft, credit card Put a hold on further action and try to stop interest accruing Maximise income & agree budget plan Agree repayment plan for priority debts Clarify options for non-priority debts, e.g. repayment plan, bankruptcy Negotiate with all creditors for appropriate solutions
Who do we help? Mr. B: moderate learning difficulties, part time employed, lived with mother in public housing, mother moved into long term care: Total debt approx £22,000: credit cards, unsecured loans, bank overdraft, doorstep lenders, tax credit overpayment Income approx £90 per week, no prospect of increase Only realistic solution: bankruptcy - grant obtained to pay for petition and assisted through court process
Who do we help? Mrs. C: mental health problems, Incapacity Benefit, lived alone, dispute with fuel supplier, worried about heating her home: Arrears stated to be £1,400, dating back over 4 years Investigated history of bills and meter readings, identified client in fact in credit Complaint submitted and accepted - client now £1,200 in credit
What next? Developing work with housing organisations Proving the effectiveness of debt advice Self help support (e.g. MAT Cashflow) Money Guidance (e.g. Debt First Aid) Responding to growing need… …Advice Leeds
Contact details Nick Morgan Chief Executive Chapeltown Citizens Advice Bureau T:0113 262 2281 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ann Day Neighbourhood Renewal Manager Leeds Library and Information Service
Financial Literacy and Children Why How it works What does it achieve Who is it aimed at Progress so far
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