Barrhead Housing Association is pleased to announce that a funding application to the Big Lottery was successful. From 1st April 2014, 4 part-time staff posts have been recruited for the Association and our partners for the project – East Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau, Arklet Housing Association, East Renfrewshire Credit Union and Voluntary Action-East Renfrewshire. Barrhead HA has recruited two new posts – Income Sustainment and Welfare Adviser Jennifer Wearing and an Energy Adviser Amanda Kean to work with up to 250 people to provide advice and support on welfare changes and the rising costs of fuel. The post-holders will be in place for 15 months to June 2015.

The project is overseen by a Steering group of partners, linking into Citizens Advice Bureau’s HERO project and to the wider communities within the local area. The project is funded by the Big Lottery over a 15 month period, starting April 2014. Two other part-time posts have been provided to Voluntary Action – project administrator, Ken Robertson and CAB have employed Rose Craig as a Welfare Reform Disability Champion. Financial advice on budgeting and financial management will be available from the local Credit Union.

Early results for this project are very promising – within the first 6 months we have had 229 referrals to the project resulting in work with 323 cases. Some early results can be summarised as follows:

  • 82% of tenants referred to our Energy Advisor have achieved a financial benefit – on average a saving of £296 each
  • increased benefits for welfare advice – £42,854
  • 28 tenants have reduced their rent arrears by a total of £12,754
  • 70 people helped with financial budgeting
  • we are now able to deal with referrals for the local foodbank in our office
  • we are referring tenants to the local Credit Union for banking and loans
  • we are referring tenants to the CAB’s Helping Tenants On-line Project

Customers should contact our office to speak with Jennifer or Amanda – 0141 881 0638.