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Thousands of people missing out on benefits they are entitled to

People in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle facing financial problems are being offered help to access benefits they are missing out on.

Drop-in 'Money Matters' events are taking place this week, which have been organised as a partnership between Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, the Financial Inclusion Group, Citizens Advice Bureau and Potteries MoneyWise.

It follows a report by the Hardship Commission in 2015 which revealed that 60,000 people in Stoke-on-Trent do not have enough money to live on, yet over £50m in welfare benefits is going unclaimed in the city every year.

The report recognised that a main reason why the amount of unclaimed welfare benefits is so substantial is due to people not being aware of the support that is available.

Alan Turley, from the Hardship Commission, said: “People find themselves struggling to make ends meet through various reasons – redundancy, only working part-time or on a zero-hours contract basis. Or it could be through experiencing bereavement or family breakdown, serious ill-health or having to become a full-time carer for a loved one. Unexpected changes can have big impacts and can happen at any time in anyone’s lives.

"If you are struggling with money, we have events this week where we may be able to help. I encourage people to not miss out on this opportunity.

Councillor Abi Brown, deputy leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council and cabinet member for finance and partnerships, said: “Last year’s events were really popular, and we want more people to come forward. It is the chance to find out what benefits you could be eligible for, get advice about effective budgeting and find out what other support services are available.

"Advice and support services can offer a crucial lifeline for people experiencing financial hardship. With so much in eligible benefits going unclaimed, many people with money worries could be missing out on the financial help and support they need."

Councillor Elizabeth Shenton, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council leader, said: “One of the biggest barriers to people asking for help is they don’t realise that even though they may be working or a homeowner, they may still be eligible for some kind of support. We can also help our residents with budgeting and offer practical advice on how to manage their money better."

The Money Matters drop-in sessions will take place at the following locations:

Location

Thurs 13 July

Fri 14 July

Sat 15 July

Stoke-on-Trent Local Centres

9am - 5pm

9am - 4.30pm

 

Bentilee Library

8.30am - 2pm

8.30am - 5pm

10am - 2pm

City Central Library

9am - 6pm

9am - 5pm

10am - 2pm

Longton Library

10am - 2pm

9am - 6pm

10am - 2pm

Meir Library

10am - 2pm

9am - 5pm

10am - 2pm

Stoke Library

8.45am - 5pm

8.45am - 6pm

10am - 2pm

Tunstall Library

9am - 2pm

9am - 6pm

10am - 2pm

CAB Hanley

 

9.30am - 1.30pm

 

90 Hope Street, Hanley

12pm - 2pm

   

Pensioners Hall, Audley

     

Foodbank, Chesterton

2pm - 4pm

   

Foodbank, Kidsgrove

 

1pm - 3pm

 

Newcastle Outdoor Market

 

10am - 4pm

 

Hanley Indoor Market

 

10am - 4pm

 

Fountain Square, City Centre

   

10am - 4pm

 

 

 

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