Residents gain £4.2m boost with help from money experts

East ren's MART with Cllr Ian McAlpine
East ren's MART with Cllr Ian McAlpine

Advice experts at East Renfrewshire Council have helped local people bring in more than £4.18m since April last year, in benefits and debt reduction they didn’t know they were entitled to.

The staggering £4,181,650 boost to local residents’ pocket is helping to mitigate the impacts of welfare reform in East Renfrewshire.

And now the council’s Money Advice and Rights Team (MART) wants to ensure that residents know to contact them if they’re in financial hardship, need advice with benefits, appeals or debt advice.

MART can help locals make sure they are receiving all benefits they are entitled to and that they are able to manage financially. This includes budgeting support and debt advice as well as help with filling in benefit forms and appealing decisions. All advice is free, confidential, impartial and independent.

MART is accredited to Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers and their Money Advisers are all approved to assist with bankruptcy and Debt Arrangement Scheme applications.

Councillor Ian McAlpine, convener for Corporate Services, said: “Please don’t feel you are alone with your money worries. The staff in our Money Advice and Rights Team are experts in their area and will offer free, confidential, impartial and independent welfare rights and debt advice to anyone who gets in touch. In the last year they have helped people receive over £4.18m in benefits and debt write offs they did not know they were entitled to. This money is likely to stay in the local economy so is also good news for businesses in the area.

“Please get in touch if you need support. We can help you resolve your financial problems and access any money you may be entitled to.”

Anyone looking for help with benefit or debt advice should contact the MART on 0141 577 8420, email mart@eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk or text ‘MART’ followed by your name to 80800, for free confidential and impartial advice.

MART is also reminding locals that they can get advice from East Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) on a range of issues including consumer problems, benefits, benefit appeal representation, fuel poverty, employment and assistance with small claims applications. Details of CAB’s opening hours can be found at www.cas.org.uk