Wiser£money is a strategic partnership between Wessex Resolutions (C.I.C.) and Encompass Southwest (a registered charity and company limited by guarantee) that is governed by a formal partnership agreement. Wiser£money operates across Devon and Somerset providing services for people living in rural/remote and coastal and market town communities who are experiencing poverty, hardship and financial exclusion.
The aim of this three year project is to improve the quality of life, financial wellbeing and financial resilience of people living in the rural settlements of the Devon districts of Torridge and West Devon. The project targets vulnerable people living on low incomes (families, older-people (55 plus), people experiencing mental health problems and people with disabilities etc.) in communities across the two districts who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, financial hardship and social and financial exclusion resulting from rurality, poor service infra-structure and capacity, the compounding impact of the government’s continuing ‘austerity measures’ and ‘welfare reform’ programme.
The project provides integrated, high quality advice, support and information services that are accessible, independent and confidential. The project focuses on:
- Money/debt advice;
- Welfare benefits;
- Housing and homelessness;
- Fuel poverty;
- Budgeting/income maximisation;
- Form filling;
- Referral and signposting.
The scope of advice and information work ranges from light touch information giving, sign-posting, guidance and supported referral services to comprehensive case-work focusing on clients with multiple and complex needs. Delivered in a client centred, holistic style, these services aim to alleviate poverty, hardship and crisis by resolving or mitigating presenting needs and using engagement to address underlying causes and promoting financial capability and resilience.
In addition to drop-in surgeries and appointment services, the project offers (based on client feedback from a similar project) home visits to the most vulnerable and hardest to reach. We will establish six primary service hubs and six additional outreach locations in more remote settlements in discreet, community appropriate venues. Working with a local Registered Social Landlord, we deliver advice services and a range of community based financial capability events from their ‘events bus’.
The project provides emergency interventions by developing strong reciprocal referral pathways with foodbanks/soup kitchens and other third and statutory sector organisations providing crisis services. Where these services are not available, or have been withdrawn (sanctioning etc), the project provides in extreme circumstances food, electricity etc..
Working with the two voluntary sector infrastructure organisations, the project provides locally sensitive, locally nuanced services, supporting, facilitating and strengthening the work of a range of third sector and statutory services across the two districts. The work supports the delivery of these other linked services, building robust referral pathways, drawing down and utilising community resources to ensure an approach that places clients at the centre of its work while reducing wasteful duplication and delivering cost effectiveness.
To get advice or to find out how you can attend one of our drop in services or arrange a home visit please call one of our team below:
Wessex Resolutions C.I.C.: A community interest company limited by guarantee, registered in England, company number 4512225. Registered address: Heatherton Park Studios, Bradford on Tone, Taunton TA4 1EU. Wessex Resolutions C.I.C is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (number 675263) for credit and debt-related regulated activities
Encompass Southwest Registered charity 1145286, registered in England, company number 07149873. Registered address: Suite 1, 2 Bear Street, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 7BU. Encompass Southwest is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 618752 for debt-related regulated activities.
If you are unhappy with the service you receive, you may be eligible to seek redress under the Financial Ombudsman Service; further details can be found at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk