Open for business!


The Citizens Advice Cornwall Money Skills open day at Shire Hall Suite at the end of September, showcased the organisation’s financial capabilities projects.

‘Overriding all’ was the clear message to Bodmin, with the team ‘open for business and here to support you’.

Visitors to the event found the chance to talk about money and receive free and impartial information, face-to-face, from welcoming experts. Bodmin Life spoke to some of the advisers at the event.

MoneyWiseUp! promotes financial wellbeing and help with job hunting or training. Sue Alsworth said: “It aims to empower people to take control of their money and prevent debt, so people can move on to the next step in their life with confidence.”

Money Matters works with families who contact the service directly or through Cornwall Council’s Family Hubs. It offers young people and their families specific help to support their financial wellbeing and the underlying areas relating to other areas of life, including physical and mental wellbeing, while offering a comprehensive service, giving families free support and information.

Money Matters offers ‘income maximisation’ to ensure families receive their entitlements and shares handy tips on how to make savings on household bills.

Powerhouse is a life-skills service for those not in education, training or employment or who are care leavers or agency workers, aged 16 to 25. Kremena Whiting said: “Powerhouse provides wraparound support including the practicalities of taking meter readings, calculating bills and applying for charitable grants for new electrical appliances.” Powerhouse shares tips on how to reduce energy consumption and bills, simple DIY low-cost solutions and how to apply to charitable energy trusts for grants to clear arrears. The Citizen Advice ‘energy comparison tool’ gives impartial and independent information that covers the whole energy market.

Other projects at the Open Day included Help to Claim which helps people apply for Universal Credit, provides benefit checks and assists with appeals. Building Futures supports prospective tenants on the housing waiting list to prepare for the responsibility of tenancy by learning how to budget and understand their rights and responsibilities. EmPOWER supports social housing tenants tackle high energy pills by helping them to switch tariffs and working with landlords to make energy efficiency improvements. Debt Advice Service offers specialist advice on ways to get on top of debt.

>> Citizen Advice’s core service offers free information about anything and has offices across Cornwall. To contact the core service or any of the financial capabilities’ services text ADVICE, or the name of one of the financial services given above, to 78866 or call free on 0800 144 8848.