Nearly £250,000 has been secured for Queen’s Park and other north Westminster residents by the Advice Plus team at the Beethoven Centre over the past 6 months thanks to a £3,250 contribution from the Queen’s Park Councillors’ Ward Budget to pay for Financial Inclusion Workshops run by a Money Matters advice worker.
In the period, April – June 2012, the Money Matters advice worker secured £104,000 for residents by helping with Disability Living Allowance claims, Job Seekers Allowance claims, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit claims, Pension Credit and other claims. In addition, the Money Matters advice worker secured over £11,500 for residents by negotiating debt reductions.
In the following three months, July – September, the Money Matters advice worker secured nearly £97,000 for residents through benefit claims and helped reduce debt payments by nearly £19,000.
The Money Matters advisor usually see around 13-15 people per Monday afternoon session at the Financial Inclusion Workshops at the Beethoven Centre, each with a 15 minutes time frame. Key facts are;
- Households with children account for 70% of those seeking advice
- Around 60 % of those seen are given advice on fuel poverty matters
- There has been a sharp increase in people seen who have been caught by the housing benefit cap
Queen’s Park Councillor Barrie Taylor said;
“We are absolutely delighted that our £3,250 contribution from the Queen’s Park Ward Budget to run the Financial Inclusion Workshops has resulted in nearly £250,000 of extra money for local residents. At a time when the Council and Government are cutting services and benefits it is vital that residents get professional help to claim the money to which they are entitled. This has helped many families with children and we will do all we can to continue our support for Money Matters advice.”