Money, Benefits and Debt Advice
who can we help?
Financial hardship can affect anyone at anytime in their lives.
If you live in the districts of: West-Somerset, Mid-Devon, Torridge, West-Devon or North-Devon and are worried about your current or future financial situation, contact us to discuss how we may be able to assist you. Contacting us can help you if:
- You are struggling to meet the cost of your heating bills
- You are struggling with debt
- You are using credit/borrowing money to pay for essential expenditure
- You worry about meeting monthly repayments
- You would like to prepare a flexible, realistic budget
- Your well-being is affected by money worries
- Your benefits have recently changed or will be changing
- You are facing financial difficulties and need assistance
Wiser£money is a partnership between Encompass Southwest and Navigate, two well established Charities. Our services provide free, impartial, confidential and effective money and debt management advice delivered predominately through home visits.
The districts of Torridge and West Devon
Our Transitions Project works across the districts of Torridge and West Devon and is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. Transitions aim to reduce social isolation and improve the quality of life and financial wellbeing of people living in the rural settlements of Torridge and West Devon.
The districts of West Somerset, Mid Devon and North Devon
Our BGET project is funded by the British Gas Energy Trust. Mind in Somerset have joined the Wiser£money partnership to provide mental health advocacy and support as part of this project. Our BGET project aims to improve the quality of life, wellbeing and financial resilience of people living in the Districts of West Somerset, Mid-Devon and North Devon. The project works in communities across the three Districts to support people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, poverty, financial hardship, and social and financial exclusion.
The district of Mid Devon
Local Welfare Assistance is funded by Mid Devon District Council to help Mid Devon residents who are facing exceptional financial difficulty. Mid Devon District Council is one of the few Local Authorities in Devon to offer a Local Welfare Assistance Scheme.
Our Money and Debt Advice Services
Debt and Money Advice
Debt and money advice delivered in a sensitive, client-focused manner that will enable you to make informed choices about how to best resolve your financial difficulties
Energy efficiency advice
We can support you to compare energy costs and switch suppliers, provide tips on how to save energy and help you to access charitable grants if eligible.
Welfare benefits advice and uptake
We provide benefits advice, full eligibility assessment, practical support including form filling, liaising with DWP and in certain cases support in benefit appeals.
Work with you to increase financial understanding, skills and confidence, enabling you to make effective decisions about your personal finances
Budgeting and Income Maximisation
If you are struggling with money and need some advice about how to budget and manage your income, our experienced advisers can complete a thorough financial assessment. This could help you budget more effectively and identify areas where you may be able to make savings and increase your income.
Mental Health Advocacy & Support
Mind in Somerset provide advocacy and support to help you through the advice journey; this service is only available through the BGET project delivered in West- Somerset, Mid-Devon and North-Devon.
Signposting and Referral
If you require specialist support to meet your needs and address your financial or personal challenges, we will work with you to find a suitable organisation
What can you expect from our services?
- Work with you to help you with your current financial difficulties
- Review your income and outgoings to help you increase your income and/or reduce your outgoings
- Need to ask you for personal information in order to properly understand your personal and financial situation and give you the information you need to make decisions
- Only ask you for information we need in order to help you
- Always tell you if we cannot help, and, if so, work with you to find an organisation that can
- Keep in touch with you during the advice process
- Provide you with information to help you make informed choices about how to resolve your financial difficulties
- Talk to you about priority and non-priority debts and explain that you should not ignore any correspondence that you may receive from creditors or any agency acting on their behalf
- Explain that your credit rating may be affected as a result of information filed by your creditors. This may stay on your file for a period of 6 years after the account is repaid/closed and may affect your ability to borrow credit in the future
- Return any original documents to you within 10 working days
- Give you a copy of our complaints, comments and compliments procedure
- Close your file if we are unable to communicate with you but we will always contact you first to ask if you still want to work with us
- Make decisions for you
- Stop creditors from continuing action against you. Creditors may still begin/continue collection activities, send default/other notices and commence legal proceedings against you and they may refuse proposals to reduce payments or freeze interest or other charges
- Help indefinitely. We can provide advice and support for as long as is necessary and appropriate but we cannot help indefinitely.
Mid Devon Local Welfare Assistance
Local Welfare Assistance is funded by Mid-Devon District Council to help Mid-Devon residents who are facing exceptional financial difficulty. Mid-Devon District Council is one of the few Local Authorities in Devon to offer a Local Welfare Assistance Scheme.
Who can get help?
You may be eligible for help from the Local Welfare Assistance scheme if you live in Mid-Devon and you:
- are on a low income
- are referred by Mid-Devon District Council
- don’t have savings of more than £500
- don’t have access to any other forms of assistance
An assessment will be made on the urgency and need of the situation; we also consider if there might be any other assistance that you may be eligible for
If you’re eligible what support is available?
The scheme provides a variety of services to support local residents who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, crisis. The key elements of the scheme are:
- Money and debt advice
- Income maximisation, budgeting and financial capability
- Food vouchers*
- Essential furniture and electrical items (there may be a cost for furniture or electrical items)*
- Signposting and referral
*Please note, WE DO NOT MAKE CASH PAYMENTS. Food, essential furniture and electrical items are provided through vouchers to local organisations.
Local Welfare office is available for contact on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9.30am to 12.30pm
Phone: 01884 255255
Messages can be left outside of these hours.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the Local Welfare Scheme please contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01884 255255.