A project which helps people with mental health problems and long-term illness to tackle debt has received a glowing report.
The First Aid for Debt in East Sussex (FADES) project is a county wide initiative run by Citizens Advice.
Locally important work has been carried out in Hastings and Rother by the 1066 Citizens Advice Bureau.
More than 1,000 people have received advice under the project with advisers dealing with over £7.5 million of personal debt, resulting in a saving of just over £1.3 million in health and social services costs.
A report by Dr Fergal Jones, the Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, who has been evaluating the project, concluded: “Participants who completed the First Aid for Debt intervention, and the pre and post outcome measures, showed statistically significant decreases in self-reported depression, anxiety, GP attendance and impact of debt on their life, and a statistical significant increase in well-being.”
Earlier this year Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group have awarded £10,000 towards the cost of taking this vital work forward.
Citizens Advice 1066 is an independent charity offering local residents information and advice on some of the most pressing issues they face today, including debt, benefit entitlement, housing, employment, consumer, immigration and relationship problems.
The service is confidential, impartial and free of charge, delivering advice, providing education and campaigning.
They work at the heart of the local community, providing a unique and vital service to local people.
Without it, some local residents would have nowhere else to turn.
Citizens Advice 1066 is based at the Advice and Community Hub in London Road, St Leonards, with Brighton Housing Trust and Hastings Advice and Representation Centre.
Last year alone Citizens Advice 1066 helped 4,870 people across Hastings and Rother to find solutions to over 17,000 problems.
The bureau’s success is down to the hard work of a team of committed volunteers and staff, and the generosity of its supporters.
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