Early success for extended opening hours at centres offering cost of living advice
Extended opening hours at city council Neighbourhood Advice and Information Centres for cost of living issues are already having a positive impact for residents.
One attendee last week maximised their benefits by an estimated £9,000 over the coming 12 months after speaking to advisors.
Operating hours were increased at two centres last week, with this early success in the first week of the increased hours demonstrating people can be supported during these uncertain times.
Those who visit will be able to discuss with council staff cost of living issues, make checks to ensure they are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to, submit referrals for debt advice via the Money and Pension Service, and explore other financial advice to assist them.
Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Justice, Community Safety, and Equalities at Birmingham City Council, said: “Our team of advisors is able to provide trusted advice and information on a wide range of matters that will help tackle cost of living issues.
“This early success is a tribute to their efforts and will be huge boost for the individual concerned, but we would of course much rather be in a position where our economy was stable and such support services were not needed at all.
“But while they are required, our message is very clear – we will do everything we can to help, support and advise the people of Birmingham.”
Extended hours are also being offered via the council’s contact centre for those who are unable to make face-to-face meetings or prefer using the phone.
If you are experiencing immediate problems, please call 0121 303 1116. The opening hours are Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm, and Saturday 10am to 1pm.
The council’s website also has a wide range of advice and information, including details on initiatives such as the recently-launched Birmingham Warm Welcome Spaces.
To find out more, visit: www.birmingham.gov.uk/livingsupport
Until further notice, the following locations will be open from 4.30pm to 7pm on Tuesdays and from 10am to 1pm on Saturdays:
- Erdington Advice Centre, 67 Sutton New Road, Erdington, B23 6QT
- Northfield Customer Service Centre, 1a Vineyard Road, Northfield, B31 1PG
Residents are being advised that only support relating directly to cost of living issues will be offered during these extended hours, so anyone with other queries should make contact during the regular opening times.