SWAN is launching a new service in South Wiltshire offering free, confidential advice to help people resolve financial worries, prepare and manage a budget and break free of debt. CMA professionally trained advisors will help people to work out a manageable budget to relieve immediate pressure, negotiate with creditors to plan affordable repayments and give ongoing support to manage money efficiently and avoid getting into more debt.
The new service will aim to help meet the needs of people facing a large drop in income because of job losses caused by the pandemic. Development manager Niki Westerling said: “We will offer free face to face help with a personal budgeting and debt advice service, and act as money mentors to anyone who needs it.
“We will help our clients to prepare a personal financial statement which represents a complete picture of their household income, expenditure and debts and defines their working budget. We help clients to maximise income and minimise expenditure, running a benefit check to see if there is anything that may have been missed.”
CMA South Wiltshire will be accepting referrals from Monday 2nd November.
People wishing to contact them should
- email CMASouthWilts@swanadvocacy.org.uk or
- telephone 07710 031 454 and let them know contact details.
The charity says Salisbury has already been hit by job losses at Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, The Dancing Moose and other hospitality venues and catering companies. With a steep decline in tourism and travel-related services and fall in demand for accommodation, transport, hospitality and related spending, SWAN fears there could be even more job losses.
“Some clients, who were in low paid employment but have now lost their jobs, will be finding it impossible to manage on Universal Credit, with rent support payments being below typical rents in this area. These clients will not have been able to build up sufficient savings to support themselves and will probably already be in debt and struggling to stay afloat,” said Ms Westerling.
The charity’s 12 volunteer debt advisors, four of whom worked for the Trussell Trust’s money advice service until it closed in 2019, will be based in the baptist church in Brown Street but will also have an outreach centre in Bemerton Heath, one of the city’s most deprived areas.
The service is being funded by Government COVID-19 Funding, Wiltshire Community Foundation and The National Lottery Community Fund.
For more information, you can visit their website – https://swanadvocacy.org.uk/cmasouthwilts/