Debt Free South West, a free advice service, launches with new website ready to support anyone in Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire, North and South Somerset with rising debts due to COVID 19.
From 11 November, Debt Free South West is the new name for the leading independent free debt advice partnership in the South West. Formerly Money Advice West, Debt Free South West is a partnership established in 2006 with the vision to help people who have money and debt problems and, along with their new name, have a brand-new website launching this ‘Talk Money Week’. Debt Free South West consists of 9 advice agencies across the South West, including Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire, North and South Somerset and are available to offer expert and confidential support to help with money worries at this very challenging time.
Whilst continuing to offer face-to-face services with appropriate social distancing measures, thanks to a brand-new website and their high quality and trusted advice, supporting over 6,500 clients last year, they are available to help people with money and debt worries via phone, WhatsApp, web chat and video call so everyone can receive support safely during this current lockdown and beyond.
Wider access to advice via a choice of digital platforms will be vital in tackling the increasing levels of debt that we’re seeing since the start of the pandemic. Citizens Advice, whose branches make up some of the Debt Free South West partners, estimate that 6 million UK adults have fallen behind on at least one household bill during the pandemic, in particular on essential costs with 3 million behind on their water bills, 2.8 million on their energy bills, 2.8 million on their council tax and 1.2 million on their rent.
The re-launch to Debt Free South West coincides with Talk Money Week, an annual campaign run by the Money and Pensions Service, to get the nation talking about managing their money. The goal of Talk Money Week is to turn talking about money from one of the UK’s least favourite topics into something commonplace.
If you or someone you know needs advice for their money worries in Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire, North or South Somerset, go to www.debtfreesouthwest.uk or call 0800 138 3422 and select the option for your nearest location so you can be routed to your local advice agency.