Lottery cash helps tackle debt head on

Staff from the Citizens Advice Bureau in Waterlooville celebrate after it was awarded �400, 000 from the National Lottery to help it tackle debt in Havant. (left to right), Jane Mercer, Jon Stuart, Wayne Drake and Elaine Martindale.'''Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (132898-2)
Staff from the Citizens Advice Bureau in Waterlooville celebrate after it was awarded �400, 000 from the National Lottery to help it tackle debt in Havant. (left to right), Jane Mercer, Jon Stuart, Wayne Drake and Elaine Martindale.'''Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132898-2)

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POVERTY and debt are words that strike fear into the heart of every family. But, thanks to the National Lottery, the two problems are being tackled head on.

The Havant and District branch of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (HDCAB) has been awarded almost £400,000 to spread the message in areas of low income – Leigh Park, Wecock and South Hayling.

Instead of waiting for people to go to the CAB with financial problems it will educate people so they avoid them in the first place.

HDCAB’s chief executive officer John Stuart said: ‘We are delighted the Big Lottery Fund is supporting our Work Out Your Money project. HDCAB has worked hard to improve its advice service over the past four years. However we are acutely aware that for many queuing in our waiting rooms, help is only being sought when problems reach a real crisis.

‘This is a fresh and exciting new project which will enable us to undertake valuable proactive work. To go out into the community and engage with people, to help them better understand their personal and household finances.

‘We also want to try experimental new ways of working with secondary school children, to better prepare them for adult life and the complexities of personal finance.’

The project begins next month and will run for four years.

Advice will be given on household budgeting and personal finances in group sessions, workshops, adult education classes and family learning.

There will be drop-in sessions and appointments at popular and convenient locations. They will also offer home visits for those who cannot access local services.

Secondary school children will also be taught by specially-trained students from South Downs College.

It is expected the project will help 13,000 people.