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Queens Cross Financial Inclusion Team helps local residents

Over the past year, the team has helped 175 people to access £922k of benefits they were entitled to but weren’t receiving.

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Queens Cross Housing Association’s six-strong Financial Inclusion Team offers welfare rights and financial and energy advice to all local people, not just its tenants. As a result of the team’s hard work during the pandemic, local people in North West Glasgow are now getting almost £1 million more in their pockets.

The majority of work delivered by the team involves appealing benefit decisions made by bodies such as Department of Work and Pensions, Glasgow City Council and Scottish Social Security. With the addition of an energy adviser to the team in October, people who are struggling with their household energy bills can access advice and financial support too.

Queens Cross Chief Executive Shona Stephen said: “Putting more money in people’s pockets is the easiest way to reduce poverty in our communities. By helping people claim what they are entitled to, we are freeing them up to look at new opportunities to move their lives on, without the worry of not having enough money to pay bills.

“This has been particularly important for people struggling to cope during the Covid-19 lockdown.”

Over the past year, the team has helped 175 people to access £922,000 of benefits they were entitled to but weren’t receiving. In addition, over £20,000 was paid to tenants to help with energy costs through the Scottish Government's Social Housing Fuel Support Fund.

Shona Stephen added: “With fuel poverty being a real challenge and climate change action needed by everyone, we were delighted to introduce a new energy advice service over the past year as part of the team to help local people keep their energy costs and emissions down.”

It is expected demand for services will increase as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease and furlough payments stop in September. The service is confidential, and anyone looking for help can make an appointment by calling the association.

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