Our new money advice drop in service has started this week, with appointments with our experienced advisers available every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on a first come, first serve basis from 9.30 am. Our drop in provides an initial consultation to assess priorities and actions to resolve immediate debt and benefit issues. Depending on the issue you need help with and the availability of our advisers you may be offered an appointment with a specific adviser at a later date or be asked to come back more than once. You will be advised of the best course of action by our Welcome Point adviser.
Local charitable body Severn Trent Trust Fund has announced a new digital campaign, aimed at saving water, which will also benefit the environment and help people manage their water bills more effectively. The #savewater initiative follows the successful debt awareness campaign, #smallchange and the seasonal 12 days of #christmassaving, which ran last year.
The campaign launched on 1st May and is running for three months, with a prize offered at the end of each month for the best water saving tip. The prize includes a water saving shower head and a slimline water butt to recycle water in the garden.
The Trust, which offers grants and help to those in debt in the Severn Trent Water area, aims to raise awareness of how to manage water usage and share useful water saving tips.
The competition will run via social media, and a list of all the tips suggested will be made available when it comes to a close.
Kim Wootton, operations director of Auriga services, the administrators of the Severn Trent Trust Fund commented, “We are delighted to announce this new online campaign. With summer on the horizon, it is a great time to start to think about saving water.”
This initiative is supported by Severn Trent Water, they have a host of water saving tips and advice available on their website as well a range of FREE products to help save water in the home.
The constant stress and worry of debt can be a massive burden that is hard to live with – but it doesn’t have to be! Whether your debts are small or huge, our experienced money advisers can talk to you about your options and help you to address them. We can help you to negotiate with creditors and put payment plans in place that you can afford. Sorting out your debts will give you much peace of mind and help you to move on with your life.
From Friday 13th March 2015 Birmingham Settlement will be offering a free debt advice service in Moorfield Hall in Shard End. Appointments will initially be available every Friday and booking is essential. Please call 0121 250 0765 or text 07535 668 238 to book an appointment.
For further information please download our flyer below.
How would you like a free three-course meal? Yes that’s right, a free three-course meal; a starter, main and a dessert!
Our FoodCycle sessions have been a success since our launch last month. We have regular people attending and are growing by word of mouth as well as referrals from our own services and external ones too. All meals are healthy and vegetarian. Examples of foods that could be on offer include spicy parsnip and pumpkin soup for starter, Mediterranean pasta with green beans for the main and fruit salad with cream for dessert. We are open to suggestions for a diverse menu. Perhaps you could bring in your recipe ideas to help us out!
We are living in a harsh economic climate that is affecting each and every one of us. There are constant rising food prices, salaries are staying the same and benefits are reducing. It is a never ending cycle.
FoodCycle can help as it provides a meal every Sunday at 12.30pm at Birmingham Settlement in Aston. We use surplus food reclaimed from supermarkets and cook up a delicious nutritious mouth-watering three course meal. Are your taste buds up for the job? What’s more it’s free and open to anyone to come along. If you would like to join us please call or visit reception to let us know. What are you waiting for?
Our Money Advice Centre provides free, independent and confidential advice on debt, welfare benefits and general money matters. From Tuesday 9th December 2014 our money advice services will be moving to our offices in Aston at 359-361 Witton Road, Aston, B6 6NS.
Our money advice drop-in service will take place every Tuesday from 9:30am onwards. When you arrive you will complete a short initial assessment meeting that will help us to find out what your priorities are, what support you need and what action needs to be taken next. These meetings will aim to address any immediate financial difficulties you’re facing and look at the biggest issues first.
If your situation is complex you may need several appointments to tackle everything. After your initial meeting your adviser will explain what will happen next – Some issues may be tackled on the day, some may need further actions from you and others may need follow up meetings.
For further information please download the flyer below.
The Money Advice Service has launched a new free online service to help people to manage their debts. The Money Advice Service Debt advice locator aims to help people find organisations able to give them access to free and impartial debt advice.
Money Advice Service’s Chief Executive, Caroline Rookes, said: “If someone is struggling to pay day-to-day bills, or to keep up with loan repayments and other financial commitments, it can be hard to know where to turn for help. That’s why we’ve developed our Debt Advice Locator – which helps people find free, confidential and impartial debt advice near where they live or work.”
The debt advice locator site provides information about partner organisations that can help, such as the National Debtline and StepChange Debt Charity, as well as telephone services that allow people to speak directly with an expert adviser. Most importantly the face to face debt advice search tool allows you to type in your location and instantly find local organisations that give free advice on managing finances and dealing with debt.
The Money Advice Service is an independent service set up by the Government to help people manage their money better. It provides a wealth of other online information, where partners and claimants can access extra support material on how to budget.
For more information please visit the website here: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/debt-advice-locator
Did you know that you can be fined up to £1,000 if you are caught watching TV without a licence?
TV Licensing is working with local organisations across the West Midlands to ensure that people are aware of the circumstances when they have a legal responsibility to have a TV Licence. Put simply, you need to be covered by a valid TV Licence to receive or record television programmes as they are being shown on TV. This is the case whether you are receiving the programmes via TV or any other device, such as a mobile phone or a PC.
TV Licensing understands that some people find it hard to pay the annual fee in one go. For this reason, there are a number of different ways to pay for a TV Licence.
- The TV Licensing Payment Card is designed to make buying a TV Licence easier for those who struggle to pay in one lump sum by allowing them to spread the cost into weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments.
- Use a PayPoint outlet to pay by cash or debit/credit card. PayPoint outlets can be found in newsagents, convenience stores, supermarkets, petrol stations and other retailers. To find your nearest PayPoint, visit www.paypoint.co.uk/locator.htm
- Pay by Direct Debit, now used by over 14 million licence fee payers.
- Pay via the TV Licensing website.
- Pay over the phone.
- Or put a cheque in the post.
If English isn’t your first language, information can be provided in 18 different languages on the TV Licensing website or via leaflets. TV Licensing also offers a translation service over the phone in over 180 languages.
If you would like more information about any of these methods of paying, or want to buy a TV Licence, please call 0300 790 6115 or visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk.
For translation over the telephone please call 0300 790 6044 or to order leaflets in foreign languages please call 01564 829 024.
Birmingham Settlement partner Severn Trent Trust Fund (STTF) has been running a campaign called #smallchange on social media to share some little practical tips that can help you to save your money. The idea is that making small changes in your daily life needn’t be difficult and can have a big impact on the money you have available.
Some of our favourite tips shared so far include:
- Allocate a budget for the week and take it out in cash. Paying with tangible money makes you think about what you spend.
- Make a shopping list before you food shop, it avoids impulse buys so you only get what you really need.
- Ditch the ready meals and start making bargain dinners by hand – think soup, or pasta and veg.
- Don’t waste money on bottled water, simply re-fill an old bottle.
- Cut ends off toothpaste tubes – there’s at least another 10 brushes in there!
- Plan ahead – with summer holidays fast approaching, think up some fun imagination games to keep the kids happy for free.
- Put a set amount of cash in a tin to last a month. Dish out to kids for those ‘extras’. Once the tin is empty, no more extras!
Join the conversation on Twitter using the #smallchange tag.
Image thanks to Johan Larsson.
Birmingham Settlement’s Money Advice team are always seeking to be at the forefront in the use of technology. It’s all about improving the client’s experience of the service we provide and ensuring we do what we do well and effectively.
Mark Greveson, Financial Inclusion Manager, says “Our outreach workers already have the use of laptops and superb software to take services into the clients home and at access points around the city and beyond. The use of portable printers enables letters and information to be printed out wherever we go. The reality is exciting, it’s a mobile service that takes our expertise anywhere.”
So what’s new? You might say. The advisors have been using this equipment for many years. For the team its not about being content with doing things well, it’s always how we we can do it better!
Mark Greveson says, “We always have a lot of information presented to us when we see clients outside of the office environment. This involves copying down information or having to take documents away from the client to action at a later time. But that’s all about to change with the introduction of portable hand held scanners! This device is being introduced to enable us to scan and save document images wherever we are offering a service.”
The new Iriscan hand held scanner is small, lightweight and easy to use and gives its user the ability to not only save images to the device but also to transfer them via the web using a linked Android device.
Excellent technology is not a replacement for excellent advice and advocacy. Birmingham Settlement’s Money Advice team have highly skilled and experienced advisors and the new technology will improve the way they provide advice in the communities they serve.
Birmingham Settlement’s Money Advice Centre has expanded its delivery of debt and benefits advice for new organisations, client groups and locations, helping to improve access to financial advice for people who desperately need it in Birmingham and beyond, including:
- Probation Services: Birmingham Settlement has been awarded a two year contract with Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust to deliver money advice to ex-offenders. We know from experience that finances are often difficult following release from prison and money is one of the biggest factors affecting reoffending. By delivering money advice to ex-offenders throughout Staffordshire and the West Midlands we will provide real benefit to their futures by improving their financial capabilities and resolving any difficulties they may be facing, such as debt. Effective and early interventions including money advice impact on the wider region by reducing re-offending rates, making communities safer for everybody. This project will start in July 2014.
- Foodbank: After a brief hiatus, Birmingham Settlement now has two money advisers back in Birmingham Central Foodbank, helping to provide advice on debt, benefits and financial planning to people who are struggling to afford food. We are pleased to support those attending the Foodbank, a service becoming more and more crucial in people’s daily lives. Patricia from the foodbank said, “Being able to provide financial literacy advice to clients referred to the foodbank is now a vital part of the service. Having an adviser on site has meant that clients could face their financial crisis and get help and support while at the foodbank rather than being signposted elsewhere.“
- Outreach: We have recently begun delivering advice in a credit union and library in Ladywood, helping to bring advice services to where people already are, making advisers more accessible to the public.
For more information about our range of debt and benefits advice please contact us.