People facing money worries after losing a job can get free one-to-one support to keep their finances under control.
A service being funded in Doncaster has just under four months left to run and newly unemployed people are being urged to use it before the end of this year.
Andy Butler, who is heading the “Money Works” project for Doncaster West Development Trust (DWDT), is a former Adwick School pupil who, after five years as a relief pub manager, joined the Citizens Advice Bureau and gained in-depth knowledge of supporting people with financial issues of all descriptions.
He said: “A change of circumstances is the biggest cause of debt and if someone’s usual income suddenly drops to about £71 a week in benefits then it will obviously create problems.
“Even if people get help with council tax and housing costs, they still have to pay for gas, electricity, water rates, food, transport and any other commitments they might have had while earning a wage.
“Anyone in this situation is understandably very worried and can struggle to focus on finding a new job.
“We put individual plans in place to stop money problems becoming a burden and affecting people’s health while they look for work.”
The project operates on an outreach basis so Andy meets people at convenient community venues across the borough.
He is also available at Doncaster Job Centre every Monday and Thorne Job Centre on Tuesday afternoons.
He can give practical advice about assessing income and outgoings, prioritising payments, preparing a budget, dealing with debt and creditors and generally managing money.
He said: “If someone is struggling with the bedroom tax, for example, we can look into getting discretionary housing payments or liaise with agencies or their behalf. It’s about removing barriers to help people into a better position to find work again.”
People across the borough can use the service if they are claiming Jobseekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Income Support and are not involved in the Work Programme but they must get in touch soon.
DWDT also runs a twice weekly Job Club at The Terrace in Conisbrough offering free online access to vacancies, assistance with applications, CV writing, interview preparation and other resources.
Andy can be contacted via DWDT on 01709 866466, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by texting him on 07453 787151.