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New website aims to ease Staffordshire money worries

A West Midlands charity has launched a website to help people manage their finances better.

The Potteries Moneywise website has been set up by Citizens Advice North Staffordshire and Stoke-On-Trent (CASNS), serving up information about money matters, including budgeting advice, energy tips and a calendar of pop-up advice stalls and workshops.

Part-funded by British Gas Energy Trust, the website acts as a portal to provide much-needed information to people in need and invites them to book an appointment with one of the charity’s trusted advisors for tailored support based on individual circumstances.

Faye Price, Service Manager at CASNS, said:

“As a large Citizens Advice, supporting thousands of people across the region, we have lots of services. We wanted to create a website for people to access specific information about money and for them to get access to dedicated advice if they need it.

Our team specialises in anything do with people’s finances, like budgeting, money management, benefit checks, financial capability and, of course, energy advice is a big part of that.

We’re starting to see a different type of client coming through our doors. Historically, it has always been people who are in receipt of benefits. But today, we see a lot more people who are working and struggling to pay bills and mortgages.

We’re also supporting people who are on the fringe of benefits. For example, pensioners who only receive state pension but aren’t eligible for Pension Credits. In that instance, it’s about looking at what they could be entitled to.”

The charity’s energy team also runs a series of outreach projects to proactively speak to people in their communities who might be struggling to pay their bills, offering up energy advice and tips. They also offer Financial Capability Training to companies, charities and community groups, passing on their knowledge to these organisations and widening the circle of support available.

Faye continued:

“We’re seeing lots of different types of people now, and lots of different scenarios. From people who just need help to switch their energy tariffs to people in thousands of pounds worth of energy debt.

But we do see a lot of people who are in emergency situations. They need to get gas and electricity today. So, the fuel vouchers that we get are very much in demand, but they go very quickly. For us, it’s a bit of a sticking plaster – we’d love to engage with people further to get to the root of issues.

The support we get from British Gas Energy Trust is really important to us, it’s helping us to reach a lot more people than we did before.”

 

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