Residents of south Bristol will have another opportunity to talk with local money experts to check they are receiving all their financial entitlements, when MP Karin Smyth organises the latest of her free one-stop-shop community events on 21 October.
Research by the Labour MP shows that around £16 million per year in Pension Credit, and upwards of £20 million in Income Support, goes unclaimed by Bristol residents each year.
Karin Smyth has to date organised two successful events to help people she represents in Bristol South check they are not missing out. The next one takes place at HWV The Gatehouse Centre, Hareclive Road, Hartcliffe from 10.30 am – 12.30 pm on Friday 21 October. Scroll to end of page for info on how to get there.
Karin Smyth said: “It’s only fair that if you work hard and contribute to society, through taxes and other means, the system is then there for you when you need it. Many people rightly claim what they are entitled to, but some miss out, so I am again bringing together a number of Bristol’s financial specialists to give first hand advice and information to local people.
“Organisations including Bristol Citizens Advice, South Bristol Advice Services, the Department for Work and Pensions, Care and Repair and Bristol Credit Union will be present. They’ll help guide people through the processes necessary to claim what’s theirs.”
Wessex Water and Bristol Water will also be there, advising people how to save water and money, apply for free water saving devices and discuss the help available if they are struggling to pay or are in water debt.
Attending organisations will have separate tables in a market-style layout in the main hall. There is no need to book a place.
The charity Age UK calculates that nationally up to £3.7 billion goes unclaimed by older people each year and whilst the primary focus of the event will be older people, all will be welcome.
“Staggering amounts are involved, and what makes this even more striking is that it’s money that people are eligible to receive,” Karin Smyth adds. “If this was rightly claimed, just think what it could do to help the lives of those who are entitled to it. Think too of the positive impact it would have on the local economy when people spend it. I think it’s got to be worth trying to boost local take-up.
“Sometimes people are not fully aware of what they should be able to receive, and when the rules and regulations change, as they often do, it can be really difficult to keep on top of things. And when you are having a hard time financially it feels so much harder to navigate the paperwork.”
The 76 bus stops next to The Gatehouse Centre, and for more information about getting there, please use this link.