£185,000 grant will help ‘overwhelmed’ Leeds debt support charity

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old farnley community centre
Venue: Farnley Community Centre. Photo: Google

By John Baron

A money advice scheme which has seen demand soar during the cost of living crisis has received a £185,240 grant from Leeds City Council to help continue its work.

Money Buddies runs 22 advice sessions across the city, including six well-attended sessions in West Leeds – including community hubs in Armley, Bramley, Farsley, Hawksworth Wood and Pudsey, as well as Farnley Community Centre.

A council report says between 2014 and 2020, the number of children living in “relative low-income” and “absolute low-income” in Leeds increased by 49% and 18%.

As reported by WLD in October, Money Buddies CEO Sylvia Simpson said the service was being ‘overwhelmed’ by demand for help.

Funding will ensure that residents across Leeds have regular access to money and budgeting services – an essential requirement during the cost of living crisis.

“Locally, financial inclusion partners are consistently reporting that demand for face-to-face advice services is now higher than ever, and that wait times for the provision of support are growing as a consequence,” the council report added.

“Poverty and financial exclusion have been deep-rooted challenges for many years. These were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the current economic climate continues to add financial pressures and widen inequalities to households across Leeds.

“For many the current cost-of-living crisis is not a short-term crisis but an ongoing reality.”

Money buddies is based at Ebor Gardens Advice Centre. A full timetable for its advice sessions across Leeds can be found here.

Last year the charity received a £97,000 donation from money expert Martin Lewis to help support their work.

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