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Festive season can be tough for some households but the Council and partners are here to help

Posted on 28 Nov 2023

As we head into the festive period it is easy to forget that the holiday season is not a time of celebration in all households across North Ayrshire.

Families, couples and individuals in our communities continue to struggle through the Cost-of-Living Crisis – and this is often made worse by the social and financial demands of Christmas and New Year.

At this time of year, there can be additional financial pressure on people who are – due to increased interest rates and inflation, and higher household bills – already suffering from financial worries.

Over the coming few weeks, the Council will be running a Christmas social media campaign offering advice and signposting people to support that is available.

Help available includes:

  • The Money Matters team, which is there to offer free, impartial and confidential advice to help ensure people get the state benefits they are entitled to. They can: complete a benefit check for you; confirm what you are entitled to; help you make a claim; assist you to dispute a decision or sanction and provide appeal representation.
  • The Council’s dedicated Cost-of-Living webpage at https://www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/cost-of-living/

Here, you will find a wide range of advice on energy, benefits, food and clothing, health and wellbeing and a section dedicated to our business community

  • Ardrossan-based housing, debt and welfare charity CHAP, which offers free and impartial advice, help and advocacy from its base and through an expanding network of community-based hubs across North Ayrshire. The team at Council partner CHAP offers services including negotiating repayments with creditors, advice on bankruptcy and assistance with Council Tax arrears and
  • A handy Council online information leaflet – which you can share with friends, family and colleagues – here https://tinyurl.com/43bj33ec that gives information about clothing grants and free school meals, Council Tax reduction, community larders and more.

One thing we can all do to boost the North Ayrshire economy is shop and visit locally, so the money we spend is supporting businesses across the region.

If we all make an effort to Keep It Local by spending and buying on our doorstep, this has a positive impact on the local economy.

Councillor Marie Burns, chair of the Council’s Tackling Child Poverty & Cost of Living Board, said: “It is important, now more than ever, that we all do what we can to support each other and ensure those who are struggling are aware of the help and services that are available.

“The Council, and our partners, are here to help ensure that this festive season is the best it can be for everyone.”

Anyone in North Ayrshire can speak directly to an adviser by calling the Money Matters Advice Line on 01294 310456 between 9.30am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. You can also email moneymatters@north-ayrshire.gov.uk and there is an online contact form at www.nahscp.org/money-matters/

To get in touch with CHAP, call 030 0002 0002, email enquiries@chap.org.uk or use the online contact form at www.chap.org.uk/contact-us

Please check out our social media channels for more information – using the hashtag #NAChristmas23