Helping people to manage  

28th July 2022

A local charity is giving residents in Waltham Abbey advice on money management and is helping them to tackle anxieties about how they will make ends meet as the cost-of-living crisis worsens.

The demand for financial advice and the impact money worries has on people’s mental well-being is rising rapidly, causing Citizens Advice to issue a red alert warning for crisis support.

Citizens Advice Epping Forest District tells us that 46% of people with debt have a mental health problem.

To help tackle this issue locally, they launched a financial and mental health well-being programme. Following its success, they have received a grant of £10,000 from Essex Community Foundation (ECF) to extend the pilot into a 12-month project.

The project aims to tackle the clear links between poor financial well-being and poor mental health by providing a community hub service that delivers financial advice, mental health support and help to access employment opportunities. This well-rounded approach means people who are struggling to cope are supported holistically and have solutions that will provide lasting change.

Jo O’Boyle, CEO of CA Epping Forest District said, “Everyone understands that the cost-of-living has increased, with electricity bills and petrol prices soaring, and with some bills predicted to rise even more in October, we recognised that intensive support was needed locally.

“People are coming to us worried about how they will make their budgets, which in most cases are already tight, even tighter. Some people are at the point where their income does not meet essential costs, let alone covering payments to reduce debt if they have any.

“Financial difficulties are a common cause of stress, and we are determined to help people feel more confident when it comes to money, support them to find job opportunities, and ultimately improve their mental health.”

For free, confidential, and impartial advice, contact Citizens Advice Epping Forest District from Tuesday to Thursday from 9:30am to 2:30pm on 0808 278 7855.

Andy Payne Worpole, Head of Programmes at ECF, said: “It is important to us that our grantmaking responds to emerging needs of our communities, so when Citizens Advice came to us for funding, we were pleased we could help.

“Their project teaches people money skills, and in turn boosts their mental health as they start to feel more in control.

“It is a worrying time for people financially and local charities like the Citizens Advice are a vital source of information and advice.”

Charities and community groups working in Essex can apply to ECF for funding. Click here to apply for support or call the ECF grants team on 01245 355947.