A group of Ripley tenants have signed up to help friends and neighbours get into better financial shape and prepare for changes to the UK benefit system.
Seven volunteers from Futures Homescape, based on Asher Lane, have become ‘budget buddies’ and will be trained to provide money saving tips, dealing with debt and getting better energy deals.
The budget buddies will also be able to offer guidance on where to go to get support with claiming the benefits that their fellow tenants are entitled to.
Angela Nolan, one of the new buddies, said: “I understand what other people are going through with all the changes that are coming to the benefits system because I’m going through them too. I wanted to get ready and face up to the changes so I could help other people as well as myself.
Futures Homescape executive director Paul Parkinson, added: “The latest budget has brought about some major changes to the benefit system, and a lot of our tenants are facing some changes to their income and lifestyle. The new budget buddies will allow those people affected by the changes to speak to one of their peers to get sound guidance to adapt to those changes, save money and get some direction as to where to turn if they need more support.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne delivered the latest budget in July, detailing key changes to the benefits system including a cap on benefits, child tax credit reduction, abolition of the family premium housing benefit and a tax credit threshold reduction.
Government initiatives such as universal credit, welfare reform and the under-occupancy charge have forced many people to reassess their finances and make sure they get the help they need to get what they are entitled to and learm how to manage their money effectively.