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New debt workshop materials to help many more access free debt advice

The Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, has today launched a new set of free workshop materials designed to help community activists direct people who are struggling financially in their area to free debt advice services.

The charity’s new The charity’s new ‘Guiding people to free debt advice’ materials enable local organisations and community groups to facilitate the video workshop to inform volunteers  about what to do if someone comes to them with debt issues, and how to point people in the direction of free and high quality debt advice.

The two-hour workshop covers areas such as the various causes of debt, how to respond when someone reveals they are in debt, referring someone to suitable support and the debt advice process.

The charity says that many people are unaware that free debt advice is available to them and will frequently turn to those in their community that they know and trust – such as a carer, community leader or key worker – in the first instance. The new materials will therefore enable individuals in these positions to confidently help many more people across the country to access the support they need.

Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, said:

“Nine million people in the UK are over-indebted, and yet only 17 per cent seek debt advice. We know that many others turn to those they trust in their community for help and support – and so ensuring proper signposting to free debt advice services from these points of contact is vital.

“Through this initiative, we can harness the terrific work carried out by individuals in their communities to help people who are struggling to cope to access the free debt advice that can turn their lives around.”

Nicola Wallace-Dean from Starting Point Community Learning Partnership, who piloted the materials during their development, said:

“The really extensive facilitator notes allowed me to support our volunteers in a way we wouldn't have been able to before. This resource is fantastic.  It allows us to develop a volunteer training programme for our financial facilitators and credit union volunteers.  It would be really advantageous if more topics could be developed.”

The resource is available to download here.

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