12 December 2013

£50,000 to help disadvantaged get online

The council is investing £50,000 to help the most vulnerable people get online as part of a raft of measures to tackle social and financial exclusion in Brighton and Hove. Four community learning centres across the city – The Bridge in Moulsecoomb, The Whitehawk Inn, the Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project in the Tarner area and The Hangleton & Knoll Community Project ­– are being funded to provide free courses, drop-ins, workshops and one-to-one support to help people get online.
Cllr Bill Randall, Chair of Housing said: “We need to help people access the new benefits system, which is being introduced exclusively online, and to save money on their bills by using comparison sites, for example, to find the best prices for services and essential goods.

“We are working with these four experienced community providers because they are geared up to provide excellent computer training and they offer people training to help them into apprenticeships and employment, which can improve their lives.

“The council will continue to offer services offline to those people who do not have access to computers.”
The council is also investing £100,000 over three years in the East Sussex Credit Union to help it offer affordable loans as an alternative to hugely expensive pay day loans, and it has commissioned the local Money Advice and Community Support (MACS) services to offer free help and advice to anyone struggling with debt.
“These are all part of the council’s Financial Inclusion Strategy,” said Cllr Randall. “It has been developed in response to the challenges of welfare reform and unemployment faced by the most vulnerable residents in the city. Against a background of year on year budget reductions we are working with the city’s Advice Partnership and key stakeholders to maintain the city’s financial health by ensuring support is given to people in or at risk of significant debt problems.”
Editors Notes:

Definition of Financial Exclusion taken from the council’s Financial Inclusion Strategy which can be found in full at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/financial inclusion
People that are financially excluded are often those in poverty and/or experiencing disadvantage and as a result might:
•           Not be able to access affordable credit
•           Not want, or have difficulty obtaining and maintaining, a bank account
•           Be financially at risk through not having home insurance
•           Struggle to budget and manage money or plan for the unexpected
•           Not know how to make the most of their money
Contact information:
The Housing Inclusion Team  01273 292549 or email housinginclusionteam@brighton-hove.gov.uk
The four education providers:
The Bridge Community Education Centre, Lucraft Rd, Brighton, BN2 4PN 01273 687053email:hello@bridgecommunity.org.uk website: www.thebridgebrighton.com
The Whitehawk Inn, Whitehawk Road, Brighton, BN1 5NS
01273 682222 email: whitehawkinn@whinn.org.uk
website: www.whinn.org.uk
Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project
6 Tilbury Place, Brighton, BN2 9QU
 01273 601211 email:info@bucfp.org website: www.bucfp.org
The Hangleton & Knoll Community Project
01273 383805 email: info@hkproject.org.uk
East Sussex Credit Union, Community Base, 113 Queens Road, Brighton. BN1 3XG.
01273 234858 Email: info@eastsussexcu.org.uk www.eastsussex cu.org.uk
Money Advice Community Support, (MACS) 01273 664040 email: info@macss.org.uk     www.macss.org.uk