A picture of Financial inclusion

PennySmart - Chester

Sanctuary has been working with community interest company PennySmart to offer money advice and help with debt to residents in Chester.

PennySmart offers regulated advice on how to deal with debt and how to manage money differently, to avoid getting into financial difficulties.

This year, PennySmart offered one-to-one support to 38 Sanctuary tenants in Lache and another 31 in Blacon, helping to reduce their collective debts by over £156,000.

One resident, Derek*, was struggling to cope with claiming different benefits after the death of his mother, who he was a carer for.

PennySmart helped him with a benefits check to see how much he should be receiving, identified tax support available and negotiated token payments on credit card debts, enabling him to prioritise his income towards household bills and essential spending.

Derek* said: “They were really caring and did everything they could to help me.

“Now I feel positive and a lot better about my financial position.”

Another resident, Jane*, was struggling with budgeting and sticking to regular payment arrangements, which was having an impact on her mental health.

She said: “I just want to thank the PennySmart team for all their help. I have been given a second chance, a clean slate.

“Now I have no stress over debts I can also see my mental health improving.”

*Name has been changed