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Somewhere to turn

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Debt letters stuffed into kitchen drawers is something often seen on television and in films, but it’s a story that’s more common than you think.

It might start with an unpaid bill, loan or a sudden illness but money issues can easily stack up, and as these problems build they can strain relationships, families and jobs.

Luckily Citizens Advice branches across Lincolnshire are ready to help, and the support they give is worth its weight in gold.

Manned mainly by volunteers, they give confidential, impartial advice and the tools to help people feel strong again and tackle such worries.

“When it comes to debt, we find someone might come in and say, ‘I’ve had this letter but it’s the first I’ve heard of it,” says Service Support Co-ordinator Rhea Frederick from Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire (above).

“When we gain their confidence, they’ll sometimes admit ‘Actually, I’ve been hiding the letter in the drawer for months.”

Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire runs offices in Spalding, Stamford and Grantham along with outreach hubs in Bourne, Market Deeping, Deeping St James, Holbeach, Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge.

“We deal with lots of families who are employed and working hard, but who are finding it difficult to make ends meet,” says its Chief Officer Lisa Barwell.

“People’s confidence starts to wane, their sleep gets disturbed and their health deteriorates. That then impacts on every part of their life.

“If we could get a message out to anyone, it would be ‘Come to us sooner.”

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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