Hartlepool foodbank set to launch debt advice service to help struggling families

Hartlepool Foodbank is set to expand its services to help people deal with debt after winning a funding boost.

The Churches Together project, which has given out a whopping 60 tonnes of food to over 8,000 individuals since launching two years ago, secured the cash prize from Lloyds Bank’s Community Fund.

The foodbank, based in Church Street, came second in a regional online public vote to secure the funding.

The £2,000 will be used to launch a new Community Money Advice (CMA) debt advice service this year.

Al Wales, co-ordinator of Hartlepool Foodbank, said:

“We are so grateful to everyone who voted for us.

“Finishing second was a big achievement and shows the level of support there is for the work of the foodbank in the town.”

Foodbank bosses decided to focus on debt-related issues as it is one of the biggest issues faced by clients who are referred to them for emergency food parcels.

The new service will be headed up by foodbank trustee Lisa Lavender.

She said:

“We are delighted with this award because it means we will be able to offer completely free, face to face, quality money advice services which will contribute to the good already being done around the issue of debt in the town by agencies such as West View Resource Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau and Credit Union.”

According to the Trussell Trust charity, which runs the Hartlepool and other foodbanks, more than one in 10 UK families have taken out a pay day loan to make ends meet in the last year.

And almost a quarter have fallen into debt to be able to provide for the family.

Managers say they are currently well stocked with beans and pasta but are very low on tinned fruit, sugar and fruit juice and custard and tin tomatoes or pasta sauce.

You can leave them in permanent collection points at Tesco Extra, in Burn Road, or Morrisons, in Clarence Road.

Supporters can also take them to the foodbank on Tuesday or Friday mornings.

Source –  Hartlepool Mail, 19 Jan 2015

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