Residents across Torbay are set to save tens of thousands of pounds thanks to a duo of projects supported by Sanctuary Housing.
The two initiatives – run in partnership with Torquay’s Windmill Centre and local debt management charity Homemaker Southwest – offer local people the opportunity to benefit from financial guidance and reduce debt, services that are particularly valuable during the current crisis.
The programme at the Windmill Centre has already seen participants recover more than £10,000 combined of backdated money owed to them. Training is provided for local people to boost their money management skills, with a dedicated welfare benefits advisor offering virtual and telephone appointments.
Emma Ellis from the Windmill Centre said: “Having this support available has made a real difference for residents, especially during the pandemic, where people are receiving the impartial information they need during a time of intense uncertainty.”
As well as financial advice, workers from Homemaker Southwest also support Sanctuary residents to set up new homes and maintain their tenancies.
This could be through sourcing essential household items, help with managing utility bills and learning how to maximise income. Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the team have prevented homelessness for at least one resident.
Homemaker Southwest’s Vanessa Handley commented: “While the Covid crisis has presented us with some challenges in the way we engage with residents, we have adapted quickly and continue to work in the best way we can.”
Lynne Roberts, Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, added: “Now more than ever, supporting residents to manage their money is so important, and both of these projects are providing invaluable ways for local people to take control of their finances.”
Residents can be referred to both initiatives by their housing officers, or can get in touch with project leaders themselves.
Homemaker Southwest can be contacted by calling 01392 686752 or by emailing email@example.com. To get in touch with the Windmill Centre, residents can call John Dudley on 07724 399711 from 9am to 5pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Photo taken prior to social distancing measures.