Cost of living crisis: Where to find support services

Embargoed to 0001 Wednesday January 26 Undated file photo of money. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Support services are available to help deal with the cost of living increase - Credit: PA

With energy and food prices on the rise, there are a number of ways that support can be accessed in Barking and Dagenham and Newham.

The cost of living crisis is stretching many household budgets and we have launched our Your Money Matters campaign.

As well as practical tips, it is profiling charities and organisations that can provide support.

Canning Town charity Community Links offers appointments to give debt advice to Newham residents.

It can help to restructure or write off debt and negotiate affordable payment arrangements.

Visit community-links.org, email advice@community-links.org or call 020 7473 9681 to find out more.

Community Links in Canning Town

Community Links in Canning Town - Credit: Ken Mears

Barking and Dagenham Money was launched in March to provide a one-stop shop for financial support and advice.

It lists organisations that can help residents including community groups, national debt charities, the council and foodbanks.

Speaking last month, deputy council leader Saima Ashraf said: “Residents who are struggling can explore all the options open to them, including claiming all the benefits they are entitled to and looking for work if they are unemployed.

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"If they need to borrow money, Barking and Dagenham Money has information on affordable options which will avoid people having to use loan sharks and other high interest rate borrowers."

Visit bdmoney.co.uk for more information.

Our Newham Money (ournewhammoney.co.uk) gives a free, confidential service for the borough's residents.

This includes money-saving tips, debt advice and affordable loans as well as emergency support with expenses.

Debt advice can also be accessed through Debt Free London, which was profiled by this paper.

The partnership of charities works with clients across London to prioritise bills and debts, with call handlers available 24/7 to offer free support.

Anyone whose mental health has been impacted by financial pressures can also access support services.

These include charity Mind, which has a section on its website dedicated to money and mental health.

It provides advice on how the two affect each other and tips on managing your money.

The charity, which has branches in east London, also offers help on handling anxiety around calls, bills and appointments.

For more, visit mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/money-and-mental-health/.

To contact the charity's local branches and find out more about services in your borough, go to mithn.org.uk for Newham and haveringmind.org.uk for Barking and Dagenham.