Debt advice service coming to Ponteland

A new service to help people with debt issues in the Ponteland area that has been set-up by Citizens Advice Northumberland is already making a difference.

By Andrew Coulson
Monday, 22nd November 2021, 11:00 am
From left, Rachel Turnbull of Citizens Advice Northumberland, Charlotte Williams and Thomas Monaghan.
From left, Rachel Turnbull of Citizens Advice Northumberland, Charlotte Williams and Thomas Monaghan.

With help from a £3,000 Newcastle Building Society grant, the charity is working with Ponteland Town Council and High School to reach families facing financial difficulties and provide local access to the support and advice they need.

A pilot project is now up and running in the Ponteland Community Hub (new leisure centre and library), with drop-in sessions at the school also being planned.

The charity is also looking to train a member of the school’s support team to act as an advisor to parents and guardians of children at the school, in the first instance, with a view to eventually opening up the service to the whole community.

Thomas Monaghan, funding manager at Citizens Advice Northumberland,says: “Ponteland is generally recognised as an affluent community, but as with anywhere there are pockets of deprivation that can go unseen and unresolved without proactive intervention.

“We’ve managed to help a number of local families after just a few weeks of working in the area, which demonstrates the need for the services we’re developing, and we’re looking to involve as many community partners as we can to ensure that people know where to come if they think they need help.

“The generous backing we’ve had from Newcastle Building Society has provided a real springboard towards getting everything going.”

The funding has been provided through the society’s Community Fund at the Community Foundation.

Citizens Advice Northumberland provides free, confidential and impartial advice across a wide range of topics. It also manages a number of bespoke projects in association with other organisations.

Charlotte Williams, manager at Newcastle Building Society’s branch in Broadway, Darras Hall, said: “Semi-rural communities such as ours can often mask a substantial amount of hidden deprivation and the expertise needed to help address these problems can sometime feel like it’s a long way away.

“Citizens Advice Northumberland’s focus on connecting communities with the right information and advice matches our own and we’re very pleased to be part of something that will make a long-term difference to local people.”