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If you’re facing money worries it can sometimes feel like the world is against you.
It might start with an unpaid bill, loan or a sudden illness, but as these problems build they can strain relationships, families and jobs. Those issues in turn can affect happiness and ultimately, health.
However big these problems may appear, there is help at hand from a number of local groups. Together, they give people the tools to manage their financial wellbeing.
Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire is one of those groups. It runs offices in Spalding, Stamford and Grantham along with outreach hubs in Bourne, Market Deeping, Deeping St James, Holbeach, Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge
“By helping people explore all their options, they leave us feeling more empowered,” says its Chief Officer Lisa Barwell (above).
That includes Caroline (not her real name) - a single mum with two children. She first contacted Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire in late 2017 after she started receiving worrying letters from a bank.
The bank was asking her to pay a £5,000 overdraft from a joint account she held with an ex-partner as her name was still on it. Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire helped her complain to the bank and then supported her through a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.
The first response she got was in favour of the bank but after Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire enquired about her options she asked for a review and got a decision in her favour, which cleared her from any liability.
In the year until March 2018, almost 11,900 new people asked for support from Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire. Another 2,100 were empowered to take steps towards solving their problems with the help of other services.
Its specialist advisors also helped people claim benefits they were entitled to and rescheduled more than £5 million of debt – allowing families to explore their options, find a way forwards and carry on with their lives.
Together with members and colleagues, Lincolnshire Co-op is raising money for local groups which help people manage their financial wellbeing, including a number of Citizens Advice branches, through its Community Champions scheme. Find out how you're part of the support here.
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