Thanks a million as Better Off North Ayrshire makes huge difference
Posted on 1 Oct 2018
A NEW initiative that is challenging poverty across North Ayrshire has saved local people an incredible £1,057,855.
Better Off North Ayrshire was launched in March 2017 to offer financial support to help residents make the most of their money.
North Ayrshire Council was selected as one of five areas in Scotland to receive funding from the Big Lottery and the European Social Fund to deliver the programme.
Over 1000 local people have engaged and registered with ‘Better Off North Ayrshire’ with each person saving, on average, £1,000 per year.
The team has helped people maximise their income, helped them access energy grants and worked out ways to write off energy debts.
They have also enabled many to make energy-efficiency savings, while others have been able to clear high cost debts which has helped them generate savings built up through the credit union.
It was fitting that the team revealed the huge savings on the first day of Challenge Poverty Week.
Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “This is absolutely incredible and a huge congratulations to the whole team for the way they have embraced the challenge of helping local people save money.
“Poverty is an issue that affects too many people in our area. The Better Off North Ayrshire team was set up to make a tangible difference and they are clearly delivering.
“Better Off North Ayrshire is getting to the heart of the daily financial struggles local people face. This initiative is helping them to overcome any financial barriers and provide advice and support to help them with their money worries.
He added: “I would encourage anyone facing financial hardship to get in touch with our Better Off North Ayrshire team to find out about the great support and advice on offer.”
North Ayrshire Council was selected as one of five areas in Scotland to receive funding from the Big Lottery and the European Social Fund to deliver the programme and launched the scheme in March 2017.
Better Off helps North Ayrshire residents aged 16-plus, who are lone parents, or living in low income or non-working households to improve their financial circumstances through a package of financial services.
Better Off North Ayrshire set out to deliver a different type of financial inclusion service – a more holistic approach which aims to get to the heart of the challenges people face, overcome barriers and provide support to improve financial capability and reduce risk of financial crises situations arising in the future.
A Better Off North Ayrshire client, said: “Since registering for Better Off North Ayrshire, my income has increased significantly, I now have some savings that I am able to use for emergencies and feel less worried about getting into debt in the future. Getting out and about will be easier as I can now afford taxi’s to appointments and this will help my confidence also”
As well as the Council, Better Off North Ayrshire partners include Community Housing Advocacy Project (CHAP), ANCHO Housing Association, Cunninghame Housing Association, Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company and 1st Alliance Credit Union.
Residents can arrange an appointment to discuss their issues by calling 01294 475 629 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Online support is available at northayrshire.betteroff.org.uk