Scheme aimed at helping those struggling financially in south Warwickshire secures council funding while it awaits bid news

A scheme aimed at helping those struggling financially has secured short-term council funding while awaiting news of a bid for Big Lottery cash.

A scheme aimed at helping those struggling financially has secured short-term council funding while awaiting news of a bid for Big Lottery cash. Stock Image
A scheme aimed at helping those struggling financially has secured short-term council funding while awaiting news of a bid for Big Lottery cash. Stock Image

Citizens Advice South Warwickshire asked Stratford District Council for £6,107 to fund its Reach Out and Help [ROAH] project until the end of November.

The money, which will come from the council’s social inclusion budget, will pay for a project worker to go to the homes of residents furthest from support services and who would otherwise find it difficult to access help.

Read More
Warwickshire residents who need help with the rising cost of living can access s...

On Monday (September 5), members of the council’s cabinet heard that ROAH offers help to manage household budgets, deal with debts, cut the cost of utility bills, claim eligible benefits and navigate health and social care services.

The annual cost of the project is £36,647.

An independent evaluation of ROAH completed in September 2019 found that through the project’s intervention, people who have hardship crises are better able to improve their circumstances and those at risk are better able to plan for the future.

The significant impact on the financial circumstances of individuals was shown also to have a positive effect on their mental wellbeing.

It also found that between April 1 2021 and June 30 2022, ROAH had supported more than 300 clients and £178,147 of additional income had been identified including benefit gains, charitable payments and debts written off.

In proposing that the funding be agreed, Cllr Jo Barker, portfolio holder for homes, health and wellbeing, said: “At the moment, anything that wasn’t supportive of Citizens Advice would be shooting ourselves in both feet, the bottom and the head simultaneously.”

Councillors unanimously supported it.