Helen

The Whitehawk Inn is known locally for being a valuable community support resource and adult education centre, but also provides services beyond this, for example offering specialist debt advice.

Helen was referred to us by the Discretionary Payment team at Brighton and Hove City Council.  She wanted advice on how to manage her budget, as a significant rent increase meant that she was having a monthly deficit.

In Helen’s support session, we completed a monthly budget planner. We then discussed various options available to her to reduce the deficit, including renting out her second bedroom, working part time, and downsizing. We also completed a benefits check and looked into the various grants which she could be eligible for through the Council, Turn2Us and utility trust funds.

We discussed other ways to keep on track with spending, such as ‘jam jar budgeting’, and Helen took away a new monthly budget planner to complete, with a cash book to log expenditure. She went away with specific strategies to reduce her outgoings, including accessing a social tariff for her water bill, altering her shopping habits and investigating a Utility Trust Fund. She was also considering longer term ways to increase her income.

Helen needed some white goods which she could not buy outright so the adviser offered to investigate local grants which she might be eligible for. The adviser found a local fund, made an application on her behalf and Helen was subsequently awarded over £500.

All this support has made a huge difference to her life, and shows the importance and value of a local community resource such as the Whitehawk Inn.
Note: The life stories shared in these case studies are real. The names and photos have been changed to protect identities.

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