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Grant helps residents get back on track

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COPELAND Council has extended funding to a credit union to help those in need get back on an even keel.

The council has a long-standing funding agreement with the Whitehaven, Egremont and District Credit Union, helping families and individuals access grants when they are experiencing hardship.

Because of the pandemic and the extra financial pressure it has caused for some residents, the council has extended this funding by £20,000.

The small grants are one-off and come with a complete financial health check for the resident including access to budgeting, savings accounts and low cost lending. Staff there can also arrange for partner organisations to carry out a benefits check or give debt advice. 

Copeland's Strategic lead for Social Inclusion, Amanda Starr, said: "Covid has affected people in lots of ways, and the financial impact can negatively affect wellbeing. Working with the credit union, we can help alleviate some of this pressure.  

"People in dire financial straits find this funding a lifeline. But it is not just about the immediate grant - it's about helping people get control of their finances again, and supporting them towards financial sustainability to improve their wellbeing.

"The credit union can help people maximise their income, save for the future and just manage their money better generally.

It is part of a wider network of organisations that can help with other things, like access to low cost healthy food, social prescribing and many other areas of support.

The fund has already helped around 150 people meet their essential needs during lockdown.

To find out more about the credit union's services, visit https://wedcu.co.uk/.