Weaver Vale Housing Trust and West Cheshire Credit Union have co-funded a role to help customers of the trust save safely and prepare for the changes universal credit will bring about.
Communication and development officer for West Cheshire Credit Union (WCCU) Amiee Kujawa will offer specialist advice to the local community.
Andrea Petty, welfare reform project officer for Weaver Vale Housing Trust, said: “Universal credit will be rolled out Cheshire-wide for singles and couples in December 2014.
“As universal credit replaces tax credits, JSA and ESA we are expecting a significant number of our customers to be affected.
“Currently the plan is for existing claimants to be moved on to universal credit in 2017. There will be five weeks from the date of the application until a claimant receives any money and thereafter universal Credit will be paid monthly.
“Because of these changes the trust are delighted to be able to fund Amiee’s post. We want our customers to be as prepared as possible for Universal Credit and having some savings for that initial five week period is part of this preparation.”
Ms Kujawa will be promoting the affordable alternatives offered through WCCU, including general savings, Christmas savings, affordable loans, competitively priced white goods such as washing machines and fridges, payroll savings, and even financial assistance with removals into a new home where applicable.
Sessions are currently offered at Wharton Library on Tuesdays and it is hoped to extend these to Wyvern House, Winsford, and Northwich Information Centre but Ms Kujawa is happy to meet up with people at their convenience and will also be working with local schools and children’s centres to promote the School Savers scheme to teach saving habits from an early age.
She said: “With Universal Credit coming into action it is absolutely crucial to prepare for the changes in how money will be paid to you.
“Don’t miss an opportunity to save and become more confident with budgeting and managing your money.”
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