Sutton Council has launched a new survey asking residents how they would prefer to access information and advice about issues they face in Sutton such as finding out if they are eligible for social housing, what childcare services are available locally, and who can help if they are caring for an elderly relative.
The survey is part of a review of information and advice services in the borough which includes looking at services commissioned by Sutton Council in the voluntary and community sectors as well as reviewing the council’s own services. The poll is being carried out through the council’s online residents’ panel which has around 1,000 members, and it asks residents where they tend to turn for advice and what they expect from information providers.
Those who are not members of the online panel can tell the council what they think by visiting www.sutton.gov.uk/consultations.
Councillor Simon Wales, Sutton Council’s Lead Member for Finance, Assets and the Voluntary Sector, said: “We want to ensure that all residents can access information and advice when they need to and in ways that suit them. Whether it’s advice about dealing with debt, finding social housing or accessing healthcare, it’s important that residents know where to go and that they are given the support they need. I hope that as many residents as possible will take part in this survey and give us their feedback so that we can improve the services provided by both the council and our partners.”
On Friday 7th March Age UK Sutton is holding their next flagship ‘Know your rights day’.
There will be financial help and advice, support with debt, practical help to claim benefits, information about how to access direct payments for social care, help with NHS costs and free sessions with a local solicitor.
For those struggling with paying for the basics such as rent or a mortgage, fuel bills or weekly shopping then the Age UK Sutton team will be available between 10am – 2pm at:
· Barclays Bank, 43 High Street, Sutton; or
· Outside TazZa Coffee shop , 188 High Street, Sutton
(where their new advice van will be parked)
There are limited free sessions with the solicitor so please book in advance.
For more information call 020 8770 4510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Individual Services Senior Manager
AGE UK Sutton
Residents taking part in a money saving session…
Free money saving workshops are being held for Sutton residents worried about rising energy bills or who are struggling to manage their cash. The Sutton Housing Partnership will host the workshops at its offices in Sutton Gate in Carshalton Road, starting with Energy Best Deal on Tuesday, February 18, from 2pm to 4pm. The workshop will be repeated at the same time on Tuesday March 11. On Thursday, February 27, a workshop entitled How To Manage Your Money will take place between 10am and 12pm.
Cliff Haynes, Sutton Housing Partnership’s head of income said: “We are here to offer residents all the help they need to get the best deal for their gas and electricity. We know from working with the Energy Best Deal that residents have found these sessions really helpful, resulting in many people saving money on their bills.”
To book your place on one of the courses, call the Sutton Housing Partnership’s Customer Care Team on 020 8915 2000.
Sutton Council recently took the decision to block access to websites of pay-day lenders such as Wonga and Quick Quid across our main computer network. This includes PCs in libraries and in the civic buildings in Sutton town centre.
We did this because of concerns that some people, who borrow from pay-day lenders, end up in even more financial trouble given the high interest rates and penalties charged for missed or late loan repayments.
Rather than these lenders being the default choice for people who need access to extra cash, we want to promote the alternatives available and provide information about the various organisations that offer advice and help.
Managing your money
On our website, there’s information about the basics of managing your money. It focuses on the “five Bs”: budgeting, benefits, bills, banking and borrowing.
You could also look at some of the online training that’s available to help you manage your finances efficiently. CAP UK is one of a number of providers. You can also call CAP on 01274 760720 to speak to one of its advisors.
The Croydon, Merton and Sutton Credit Union
CMSU may be able to provide you with a loan if you have no other access to borrowing or don’t have a bank account. It’s much more affordable than using a pay-day or doorstop lender. CMS can also provide a savings account.
“I’ve got money worries – what should I do?”
The answer is: don’t panic.
But, the sooner you ask for help the better. We know that admitting you’re having financial problems can be difficult, but asking for assistance earlier is so much better in the long run. Here is a list of the many organisations which can help:
Sutton Citizens Advice Bureau
020 8405 3552
The Money Advice Service
0300 500 5000
Is an independent service, set up by government, to help people make the most of their money. It gives free, unbiased money advice to everyone across the UK – online, over the phone and face-to-face.
National Debt Helpline
0808 808 4000
The helpline provides free confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems. It offers debt advice for people living in different parts of the country.
Debt Support Trust
0800 085 0226
The Debt Support Trust is a not-for-profit debt advice charity with trained, friendly debt advisors who can advise you on suitable debt solutions. It is a national debt advice charity helping people across the UK.
www.suttoncabx.org.uk – 020 8405 3552
Sutton Borough CABx Service is a registered charity that provides information and advice on issues such as housing, welfare benefits, employment, debt and relationship breakdown etc. We are members of Citizens Advice – the national citizens advice organisation.
www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk – 0300 500 5000
We are an independent service, set up by government to help people make the most of their money, we give free, unbiased money advice to everyone across the UK – online, over the phone and face to face.
www.capmoney.org – 0800 328 0006
CAP Money is a revolutionary money management course that teaches people budgeting skills and a simple, cash-based system that really works.
This course will help anyone to get more in control of their finances, so they can save, give and prevent debt. CAP Money is a course devised by the award winning debt counselling charity, Christians Against Poverty.
www.nationaldebthelpline.co.uk – 0808 808 4000
The helpline that provides free confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems. We offer debt advice for people living in different parts of the country. This is because the law concerning debt varies depending on whether you live in England and Wales or Scotland. You can be confident that the advice we offer is targeted to you.
www.payplan.com – 0800 280 2816
Payplan is funded in a unique way: rather than charging their clients, they receive donations from the credit industry. But don’t worry they remain completely impartial and deal with creditors to find you a solution that is affordable and sustainable.
www.debtsupporttrust.org.uk – 0800 085 0226
Debt Support Trust is a not-for-profit debt advice charity with trained, friendly debt advisors who can advise you on suitable debt solutions. We are a national debt advice charity helping people across the UK, whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland we can help you with debt advice.
www.croydonsavers.co.uk – 020 8760 5711
The Croydon, Merton and Sutton Credit Union can offer affordable loans for Sutton residents.
Staff at Sutton Citizens Advice Bureau are celebrating after winning a prestigious award at the organisation’s national conference last week.
They were recognised with a Social Policy award for their excellent work in raising issues of welfare benefits and legal aid throughout the past year.
Steve Triner, Chief Executive of Sutton Borough CAB, said: “We are delighted to win this award. It is especially pleasing to be recognised by our peers for the work we do.”
In the year ending April 2012, Sutton CAB was visited by 8,200 clients, which represented a rise of more than 100 from the previous year.
Welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment and family issues, including relationship breakdown and access to children, are the top five issues that clients have arrived to discuss in the past 12 months.
Cllr. Simon Wales, Lead Councillor for Finance, Assets and the Voluntary Sector, said: “Sutton CAB provides a valuable service for the community and we are pleased that their good work has been recognised.
“Sutton Council is proud of its record of working closely with voluntary groups and Citizens Advice is just one of the many excellent resources available to residents.”