Charter’s Moneysavers Team has won the coveted title of Debt Team of the Year at the Money Advice Awards 2017.
With over 24 years experience between them, the intrepid trio specialise in debt advice, insolvency, social policy, budgeting, grant applications and identifying and publicising unfair practices, ensuring they are always ahead of the money saving game.
“It’s not just about providing money tips, it’s also about finding financial solutions and providing advice that changes lives” says Kath Hopkins, Moneysaver Project Officer at Charter.
From grant applications and debt advice, to the Warm Home Discount and benefits assistance, the Moneysavers provide a vital service to Charter tenants.
The team recently met a family with a young daughter with a severely life limiting condition. They were able to help the family with their debt problems and benefits, as well as help them to reduce their bills. Charter also made contact with the charity Whizz-Kidz, who provided the little girl with a special trike that allows her to go out to play with her friends. The Moneysavers also secured funding from Newport charity ‘Ieuan the Lion’ to send the family on holiday to one of their specially adapted caravans.
Preventing debt is a key aim for the Moneysavers who take a proactive approach to helping tenants with their finances. By helping people to obtain grants for items such as white goods and furniture, the Moneysavers help to ensure people have all they need when they first move into their home, helping to prevent them from taking out loans to pay for these much need items.
The Moneysavers find themselves in the privileged position of building trusting relationships with those they help; “When people trust you and open up about their finances they often open up about other aspects of their lives” says Kath.
By building relationships with tenants, it often leads to a better understanding of the root cause of the issue, whether that’s a struggle to find employment or difficulty in coping with family life, our Moneysavers are well placed to refer tenants to the best people or projects to suit their need. Kath explains, “It goes beyond helping solve the initial presenting problem, and can result in a big change in someone’s life.”
In 2016 Moneysavers worked with 445 people and helped tenants to:
- manage over £500,000 debt
- obtain benefits worth over £90,000
- obtain 94 grants totalling over £45,000
- save over £228,000 via Welsh Water schemes
- obtain over £30,000 in payments from the Warm Home Discount
Well done to Kelly, Kath and Francesca on their award success and for making a difference!
Article create: 18th May 2017