If finances and home expenses are worrying you, Citizens Advice North Herts could help.
We sat down and spoke to Ian Allott the Debt and Benefits Advice Team Leader from Citizens Advice North Herts about how their work has helped people's mental health in the town:
“We created the Letchworth Financial Health Project to help those who are struggling with debt by increasing income and manage debts appropriately, but also, we look at the long-term benefits of people becoming financially capable. This is done through online resources, face to face courses in the community and during 1 to 1 debt advice appointments. The more people that are financially capable in the community will lead to a more cohesive, stronger, resilient more financially literate community with decreasing levels of mental health issues.
“The Letchworth Financial Health Project provides three elements of money advice to help the people of Letchworth:
- Personalised debt advice to include both priority and non-priority debt and guidance on Debt Relief Orders.
- Advice on how to manage income, including benefit checks, applying for benefits, mandatory reconsideration, and preparatory work for appeals.
- Opportunities to learn about money management training in group settings and one-to-one appointments.
“For each strand of the project, one of the impacts is to 'leave people better able to manage their money leading to an increase in the mental and physical health of the whole family.'
“A charity dedicated to wellbeing; we regularly check in with the people who take part in our workshops and online classes to ensure that the programme is helping improve their mood and boost confidence. From these check-ins, we have received some positive feedback about how the project has helped participants cope with financial worries. We can also see that confidence is higher after contact with the project. With this data we have been able to make a link between financial capability and mental health. It does not matter what your income is; everyone should know exactly how to budget and get the best deals to avoid serious debt.
“If anyone is worried, having sleepless nights, feeling burdened because of a bill, debt, payment, then talk to us at Citizens Advice on Station Road in Letchworth Garden City.”
One of the most common statements I hear when a client comes out of an appointment with the project is “I feel much better now than when I came in.”Ian Allott, Debt and Benefits Advice Team Leader from Citizens Advice North Herts