Support from local services for the financial fallout from Coronavirus
The Covid 19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the nation's health, but as we head into autumn and winter, there's growing concern too about its effects on people's jobs and finances. Recent research by Citizens Advice show that one in 9 adults in the country have now fallen behind with their bills as a result of Coronavirus.
That's why Citizens Advice Mendip and Mendip District Council are keen to raise awareness of the free services available to those who find themselves in difficulty. Seeking advice on problems at an early stage is key to getting on top of them.
So, for example, if you have lost your job or you risk losing it when furlough ends in October, Citizens Advice can tell you about your employment rights, what benefits you may be entitled to and how to cope if you're not able to keep up with paying your bills.
When it comes to accommodation, if you are falling behind with your rent, mortgage payments or Council Tax it is better to find out early what your options are. Citizens Advice and the Housing Options team at Mendip District Council are there to advise you on what to do.
Ian Byworth, CEO of Citizens Advice Mendip, said: 'These are tough times for many, as we have personally seen from the people getting in touch with us. Often, though, the hardest thing is accepting that they have a problem in the first place. But the sooner they recognise it and seek advice, the easier it is for us to help them find a way through it.'
Councillor Richard Pinnock, Portfolio Holder for Housing Services at Mendip District Council, commented: 'Together with our colleagues in Citizens Advice, Mendip District Council stands ready to support anyone in difficulties with housing, Council Tax, rent arrears or at risk of eviction. If you find yourself in this sort of situation, we would urge you to get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can work with you on an appropriate solution.'
You can access free, independent and confidential advice from Citizens Advice in Mendip. Following government advice, their offices are currently closed for face to face sessions, but please visit their website www.citizensadvicemendip.org.uk for details of how to contact them online, by email and by phone. Alternatively, you can contact their Adviceline on 03444 88 9623.
For advice on Council Tax, rent arrears, risk of eviction and homelessness you can contact Mendip District Council's Housing Options on 0300 303 8588.