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Free advice from charity in Swindon as benefits shake-up begins
A CHARITY is offering free help to people worried about the upcoming shake-up to the benefits system.
Thousands of families across Swindon will be trying to get their heads around the changes to the benefit system and help is available at The West Swindon Family Centre, in Gainsborough Way, Freshbrook.
The charity offers free welfare advice to families with 0 to 19-year-olds living in West Swindon and every Wednesday runs drop in appointments between 9.15am to 10.15am and 2.15pm to 2.45pm.
Appointments can also be booked between 9am to 4pm.
The Government unveiled plans to limit rises in working-age benefits to one per cent in a bid to save £3.1bn by 2016 and the move has proved controversial.
There are also a number of changes to Child Benefit. Nearly six million people in work will be affected by the benefit cap.
Family Centre Manager Julie Batson said: “In these difficult financial times, balancing family life and finances can seem overwhelming, and changes to the benefit system, confusing and frightening but help is available at The West Swindon Family Centre.
“Most people claim some form of benefit.
“Benefit payments account for 30 per cent of Government expenditure; 60 per cent in pensions, 40 per cent in benefits.
“Our free advice service has proved invaluable to families in West Swindon.
“And, in the past year, our advisers have retrieved £349,173 in unclaimed benefits and written off £19,501 in debt for our community.
“Our specialists Richard Stacey and Christian Sweeney explain how the changes will affect us all.”
The family centre is at 15 Gainsborough Way.
For more information or to book a appointment call the centre on 01793 871303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.