A new Kent Money Advice Hub is being launched today (November 28) to support people who are struggling financially or need help to manage the increasing cost of living.
The service is available for anyone who is worried about money and aims to encourage those who may be reluctant to come forward for money advice to take the first step.
There will be hubs across Kent, including in Thanet at Cliftonville Community Centre, St. Paul’s Rd, open Mon, Wed, Fri 9.30am-3.30pm and Tue 9.30-1pm and at Ramsgate Salvation Army Centre, 167A High Street, open Mon, Wed, Fri 9am to 12 noon and Tue and Fri 8am to 12 noon.
Research from Citizens Advice shows that in the three months to September 2022, the number of people needing debt advice grew by 16%. The pressing debt issues concerning people in the past year have centred on fuel debts, council tax arrears, rent arrears and credit and store card debts.
The Money Advice Hub is a pilot led by Citizens Advice in North and West Kent, in partnership with a network of Citizens Advice offices in Kent, Debt Free London and funded by Kent County Council’s Helping Hands Scheme.
Free and confidential, advice is accessed via a range of digital channels including WhatsApp, video calling and messaging, on top of the traditional phone service plus Hub kiosks have been located within a number of communities.
People can access the Kent Money Advice Hub by visiting www.kentmoneyadvicehub.com calling 0800 808 5622, and from the kiosks in Cliftonville and Ramsgate.
Money advice is not just about dealing with debt, it includes looking at the causes of money issues and can help people if they lack sufficient income to meet household costs, have difficulty budgeting effectively, are threatened with homelessness or have had a family breakdown. All money-related worries can be raised at the Hub.
The pilot scheme will run from today until 28 February 2023.
Roger Gough, Leader of Kent County Council, said: “The cost of living crisis means more people than ever before need help, advice and support regarding money.
“We know concerns over financial circumstances can lead to stress, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness. This excellent non-judgemental service is about finding a practical way forward.
“By utilising a range of digital resources, people can access the new Money Advice Hub in a way that works for them. We’re confident people in Kent will benefit from this free community-based service, a lifeline which makes the most of technology to help tackle money issues.”
Connie, Debt Advisor, Citizens Advice, added: “More and more people in Kent are facing significant financial challenges because of the rising cost of living. We know that the poorest and more vulnerable people in society are being hit hardest, but we are also seeing those on low and middle incomes struggling to adapt to the need to budget. People have used their savings to cope during the pandemic and now don’t have the financial cushion to cope with rising costs.”
For more cost of living support visit https://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/cost-of-living-support
if its anything like the free pension advice meeting , it will be a total waste of time
Roger Gough, Leader of Kent County Council, who got a 4,2% pay rise in 2020, said: “The cost of living crisis means that unlike my colleagues & I, more people than ever before need help, advice and support regarding money.
Hmmm! Better late than never, but the debt problem has been with us for years, and its only now when so many are in trouble that action is being taken.
Instead of giving all that funding to TDC to blow on its own run down assets, a combined money advice/small business advice and credit union centre would have been far more useful.But hey ho! It’s how things are done in Thanet.
Maybe Ramsgate town council will give £10000 to help out. It’s fond of giving money away to Jenny Dawes