Project will give advice on debt and using the net

Coun Alan Napier with Doreen Liversidge, from the Hazelwell Centre, Haswell, at the launch of the scheme.
Coun Alan Napier with Doreen Liversidge, from the Hazelwell Centre, Haswell, at the launch of the scheme.

A double boost has been revealed for hundreds of residents to help them deal with debt and the internet.

The East Durham Trust’s Debt First Aiders programme will help rising numbers of people with financial issues.

The current economic climate, coupled with the recent welfare reform measures are putting pressure on the most vulnerable of people in our community. This project will help to protect the most vulnerable and adds to the wide range of services we offer that support such people

Malcolm Fallow, chief executive of the East Durham Trust

Deputy Leader of Durham County Council, Alan Napier, unveiled the project that will see 20 volunteers trained to give advice and signpost people to support organisations.

Help with problems due to redundancy, public spending cuts, and benefit sanctions is also being provided.

Malcolm Fallow, the chief executive of the East Durham Trust, said: “The current economic climate, coupled with the recent welfare reform measures are putting pressure on the most vulnerable of people in our community.

“This project will help to protect the most vulnerable and adds to the wide range of services we offer that support such people”.

The Debt First Aiders project is a two-year programme which is funded by the East Durham Area Action Partnership.

In a second boost, the Keyboard Champions project, funded by Comic Relief, was also launched yesterday by the trust.

It will help more than 1,000 people save money through computing.

Over the next two years, more than 20 volunteers will be recruited and trained to support people through online shopping, price comparisons and providing the use of responsible lending.

Mr Fallow said:“This is a tremendous initiative that recognises that not everyone has access to a computer or is competent with IT.”

The launch ceremony included the presentation of a tablet and keyboard to a new volunteer by Easington MP Grahame Morris.