Time for a financial health check?

Clockwise from left – the Financial Inclusion Team: Debbie Mzee, George Dalziel and Barry Wood

If your New Year’s resolution is to get on top of your finances, Scottish Borders Housing Association can help.

Our friendly, approachable Financial Inclusion Team are on hand with support and advice to get you back on track.

Financial Inclusion Worker Barry Wood says: “The Benefits System can be tricky to negotiate. I can identify if there could be additional benefits that you could be entitled to. I can help you to fill out paper applications, or if the application is online you can make an appointment at our Head Office or one of our area offices and one of the team will help you to fill it out or show you how to do it yourself.

“If you’re having trouble paying rent, I can go through your income and expenditure with you in confidence and make suggestions as to where you could save money, as well as giving you tips on budgeting better. I also can suggest ways/places where you can get cheaper deals.

“I can also refer you if necessary to CAB or onto a specialist advisor such as Changeworks, who can help with Gas or electricity debt as well as giving you advice on how to use your heating system efficiently.

“I will support you over whatever period of time you feel you feel you require help – ultimately it’s about getting you to a point where you are confident that you no longer require my support. But I am always at the end of a phone if you come up against something that knocks you off or you’re not sure how to deal with.

“The best part of my job is meeting new people, and the satisfaction of helping someone turn around a situation where they are faced with what they see as crippling debt or a lack of skills for budgeting. From talking the situation through to finding practical solutions, it makes a huge difference.”

If you would like some help from the Financial Inclusion Service, just call 01750 724444 and ask to speak to one of the team, or email financialinclusionservices@sbha.org.uk