"Money advice has been an absolute lifeline"

Over the years, our Money Advice Team has helped thousands of you get on top of your finances and access money you didn’t know you could get. In the first nine months of this financial year, the team has already found £7.6 million worth of benefits or savings that people were entitled to. Could you be missing out?

Our money advisors can help you if you have money worries or are dealing with a number of financial problems at the same time.

This was the situation with 50-year-old Graham Howarth from Breightmet. For the last four years, the team has supported Graham in a variety of ways. Here he tells us what a difference it’s made to him.

“My problems started back in 2018. My mum, who’d been a big part of my life, had passed away two years earlier. I was a mess – depressed and struggling to cope on my own. On top of that, I had money problems. After leaving my job, I had nothing to live on for three months while I waited for my benefits to be assessed. I ended up in rent arrears and went to my local UCAN centre for help.

“From there, I got tenancy support as well as help from the Money Advice Team. Once I had some money coming in, I followed the budgeting advice I’d been given and managed to reduce my rent arrears.

“Then, last December, I got behind with my council tax and water bill. And I couldn’t afford to pay for gas and electric so I had to go without. This was in the middle of winter, so you can imagine how difficult it was.

“It was a stressful time but, once again, I got help from the Money Advice Team. They looked at my Universal Credit allowance and helped me get a reduction on the amount of deductions being taken. This meant I got a bit more money.

“I was also in dispute with my energy supplier and was referred to Starts with you [our social enterprise] who helped me sort this out.

“Thanks to the Money Advice Team, I got a Discretionary Housing Payment to clear my council tax arrears and I have a payment plan in place with the water company. I also got money from local welfare provision and hardship funds.

“Before getting help, every day was a constant worry. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to get back on track. Everyone has been brilliant – particularly the Money Advice Team and local UCAN centre staff. It’s good to know that help is available when you need it most. It’s been an absolute lifeline for me.”

Get money and debt advice today

To see if we can boost your income through savings or checking whether you’re missing out on money that should be yours, phone the Money Advice Team on 01204 328000. We're happy to help.

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