New Money Advice Service Available in Folkestone
A new project has been launched by Folkestone Rotary Club, working in conjunction with Citizens Advice and Kent Coast Volunteering, that aims to help families deal with problem debt and turn their lives around. Money Matters Folkestone provides support for people in tackling money difficulties and also enables them to access advice and information on other issues affecting their lives, from health to family problems. The programme has been established with a grant from Folkestone Community Works*, which was conceived and designed to help people in the East, Central and Harbour wards of Folkestone to improve their life chances by being better prepared for work, by building businesses and increasing employment opportunities. Match funding has also been provided by a range of supporters, including The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust.
Project director for Folkestone Rotary Club David Roseveare explained that the idea grew from a desire to make sure Rotary money could make a real difference: “All too often we found ourselves giving grants to families and individuals that helped for a short time but didn’t tackle the social issues or debt they were facing. We spoke to other charities and found there were some great schemes about employment, or wellbeing, but nothing that really brought everything together. This meant things could be missed, and people found themselves in a vicious cycle of debt with no real help to get out of it.”
The new programme has plenty of practical support. Help has been offered by Rotarians in Germany, France and Belgium and Citizens Advice Shepway have been engaged to provide expert money advisors. Kent Coast Volunteering have contributed by recruiting mentors to support people through the process. Mr Roseveare added: “What is different about our project is that we won’t just give people a plan to tackle their debt and leave them to it. Our focus is on helping people into work, education or training but we also want to help people feel happier about themselves and to get on a different path of life. Our experience tells us that often people feel like they can’t tackle life’s big issues if they are facing a mountain of debt, because that can consume all their attention.”
The project will run for three years, with sessions planned in venues such as the Rainbow Centre and Mind. People can also be referred via charities or by professionals such as GPs or social workers. To qualify, participants need to be unemployed and must live in the east Folkestone area. However, anyone who doesn’t meet these criteria can be signposted to other services by Citizens Advice.
Mr Roseveare added his thanks to organisations who have contributed match funds to the project: “We are grateful for the generosity of all our supporters, including the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, in helping to make this project a reality.”
For more information on Folkestone Rotary Club, see here
*Folkestone Community Works has been developed by Folkestone and Hythe District Council with funding from the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund.
Pictured above, left to right: Terry Cooke-Davies, Management Consultant, and David Roseveare, Project Director from the Rotary Club of Folkestone and Paul Wainwright, Money Advisor, from Citizens’ Advice.