College launches new Universal Credit Hub

The new hub at East Durham College to help people with Universal Credit. Barbara Archer (left) and Paula Lucas.
The new hub at East Durham College to help people with Universal Credit. Barbara Archer (left) and Paula Lucas.

A college has launched a special hub to help people deal with the new Universal Credit.

East Durham College in Peterlee said the New Universal Credit Support Hub is aimed at helping students and those from the surrounding area to understand the changes that the

New hub for Universal Credit.

New hub for Universal Credit.

government’s new Universal Credit scheme will bring.

It hopes to ease the worries of people who rely on benefits and to help them understand how the changes under Universal Credit may affect their lives.

Universal Credit is a new scheme gradually being rolled out by the government which sees a host of existing benefits, including housing and childcare, rolled into one monthly payment.

Under the scheme, claimants will need to be actively looking for work, unless there are special circumstances where they are not able to work.

A lot of people in the area aren’t even aware of the Universal Credit and the changes it will bring

Barbara Archer

Barbara Archer, Employability Programme Leader at East Durham College, said: “A lot of people in the area aren’t even aware of Universal Credit and the changes it will bring.

“Our new Universal Credit Hub is designed to give people a comfortable, safe environment where they can learn about the changes, how it affects them and we will also be offering support to help them organise their applications for Universal Credit.

“Our Universal Credit Hub has several computers with internet access as a lot of the people we work with may not have services such as the internet. We’ll also be working with those who aren’t comfortable using computers to ensure they understand the process, how to apply and how to manage their finances as Universal Credit starts rolling out.”

East Durham College will be hosting regular events in the hub.

Anyone interested in the scheme can talk to East Durham College’s employability team by calling 0191 518 8390 or by emailing Barbara.Archer@eastdurham.ac.uk.