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Monday, November 25, 2013

Extra cash will allow people to access advice services

Wales's Communities and Tackling Poverty Minister Jeff Cuthbert has announced a series of grants  that will allow almost 7,000 extra people to access free advice services.

This follows an invitation in May for organisations providing free and independent information and advice to apply for Welsh Government funding in 2013-14.
 
Along with the invitation was a request for organisations to adapt to a situation where funding to support their services is being drastically cut but the demand for their services is growing due to cuts to welfare benefits and the struggling economy.
 
Eight organisations will share a total of £936,330 and through their services will provide valuable advice on debt, housing and welfare benefit advice to approximately 6,376 people.

The eight agencies are: Advice UK (£173,743), Age Cymru Partnership (£13,153), Citizens Advice Cymru (£484,086), Law Centres Network (£32,025), RNIB (£20,988), Shelter Cymru (£79,158), SNAP Cymru (£90,710) and the Welsh Refugee Council (£42,467).

Jeff Cuthbert said: “This announcement is another example of our commitment to taking action to provide practical help to people living in, or at risk of falling into, poverty.

“Free advice services are more important than ever given the current economic climate and the impact welfare changes are having on whole communities. Thousands of people rely on specialist, expert advice, but funding is being squeezed at the very time when more people are turning to them for help. Many of these advice services are facing direct cuts to their funding.

“I want to make sure people do not fall through the cracks given the changes to the UK welfare system and am delighted to be announcing these grants.”

An additional £103,950 is being granted to three organisations to provide specialist discrimination advice to around 347 clients.

The three beneficiaries are: Race Equalities First (£25,073), Citizens Advice Cymru (£69,506) and the Royal Association for Deaf People’s Deaf Law Centre (£9,371).

The Minster added: “Ensuring everyone in Wales is treated fairly is fundamental to my vision for a country that embraces equality and diversity and that we can all be proud to live in. These grants will ensure that people who believe they have experienced discrimination can receive professional advice.”

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