Citizens Advice workers reveal how Mayor’s new £2m support scheme will help people hardest hit by the cost-of-living crisis

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Advice workers across Liverpool City Region have told how Mayor Steve Rotheram’s new £2m support scheme is a lifeline for people hardest hit by the cost-of-living crisis.

The Combined Authority (CA) has joined forces with The Women’s Organisation, Citizens Advice and other community providers to offer the Better Off Support (BOS) programme.

Citizens Advice has found that spiralling energy costs, increased numbers of people forced onto pre-payment meters and mortgage rises of up to 10% have left many economically vulnerable people needing more intense support.

Key workers say increasingly complex cases often need support over a series of sessions just to get clients back on track.

Ruth Stavris, Financial Wellbeing Advice Keyworker, said:

“For the past month I have been working with a 62-year-old woman who can’t read and write and has poor mental and physical health. She has struggled to access the benefits that she is entitled to and is on a very low income, so she is struggling to meet her essential costs.

“It is a lot more work to help someone like that who you can’t just signpost to extra support they could get themselves if they are not able to.”

John McKenna, Financial Keyworker at Citizens Advice Liverpool, said:

“At the moment, I’m working with a self-employed woman who has some mental health issues who has got herself into debt of around £15,000.

“I am working quite closely with her on a weekly basis, taking small steps to try and get a positive outcome for her.”

BOS will help up to 2,500 people deal with debt and manage their money whilst providing support to maximize income, as well as guidance on energy efficiency and how to access home improvement schemes.

Read the full story of the £2m support scheme.

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