Financial Support Groups in Southampton
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This compilation was updated on 26th April 2022. Please check the SOLID for updates
SO:Linked is funded by Southampton City Council and CCG. Our Community Directory (SOLID) has information on services, groups, funding and events in Southampton.
SO:Linked Community Navigators (including specialist navigators in dementia and mental health) will help to find the right support and activities for anyone living in, or registered with a GP in, the SO14-SO19 postcodes. There is sometimes a waiting list to access some community services and inclusion in the booklet isn’t an endorsement. To contact our Navigators: complete a Referral Form on www.solinked.org.uk, email: soccg.solinked.org.uk or call 023 8021 6050.
This compilation is a list of the various Council and Community Groups, working in Southampton to relieve the issue of financial hardships. All the services listed are free of charge. They offer advice, support and courses on good money management. They are divided into:
- Local Council Support Venues
- Community Support Groups giving financial advice and support
- Peer Support Groups and Courses on Good Financial Management
1. Local Council Support (useful contact information)
Universal Credit helpline or visit Universal Credit – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 328 5644
Video relay service for British Sign Language (BSL) users – check you can use this service
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm
JSA: Apply for ’new style’ JSA (Job Seekers Allowance) You can apply for ‘new style’ JSA online or contact the Jobcentre Plus helpline.
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 055 6688
Video relay service for British Sign Language (BSL) users – check you can use the service
Welsh language: 0800 012 1888
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm
ESA: If you have a query about an existing claim for ‘new style’ ESA (Employment and Support Allowance)
Contact the Jobcentre Plus helpline or the website: Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Open from 10 am – 3 pm Monday-Friday.
Address: 1 Guildhall Square, Southampton SO14 7FP
Phone: 023 8083 2005
A. Breathing Space
This is (also called the Debt Respite Scheme), is a government scheme that is designed to help relieve some of the pressure and stress caused by being in debt. Full details of the Breathing Space scheme including what it covers, how to apply, what happens during and after the Breathing Space period plus frequently asked questions can be found at the following links:
B. Paying off your debts (Options for paying off your debts: Overview – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
There are a number of Government approved ways of paying off your debts depending on your personal circumstances together with many organisations and charities that can advise you on the best possible course of action if you fall into debt.
Government Approved Schemes
The government-approved schemes for paying off your debts depending on:
- what spare income do you have? – this can be used to make regular payments to your creditor
- what assets you can sell? – these can be sold to help pay your debts
- your situation – for example, if you’re bankrupt or facing bankruptcy
For an overview of the options available go to this link.
C. Explanation of different financial terms:
A Debt Management Plan is an agreement to pay your creditors via a licenced debt management company. For details of eligibility and how to set up a Debt Management Plan, follow this link.
An Administration Order is a way of helping to settle a county court or High Court judgment, if the debt is less than £5,000. For details of eligibility and how to set up an Administration Order, follow this link.
An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is an agreement to make regular payments to an ‘insolvency practitioner’, who will divide this money between your creditors. For details of eligibility and how to set up an IVA, go to this link.
A Debt Relief Order(DRO) is a way to deal with your debts if you owe less than £15,000, have little spare income and don’t own your home. For details of eligibility and how to set up a DRO, follow this link.
A Fast-track Voluntary Arrangement (FTVA) were a way to deal with your debts if you’ve already been made bankrupt and have assets available that can be sold to pay your creditors. FTVAs have been abolished in England and Wales, so no new ones can be made. Existing FTVAs will continue until they are completed.
A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a court order which tells you to pay money you owe to a debt. It’s one of the actions your creditors can take as part of the debt collection process. Help and advice on how to deal with a CCJ is available at the following links:
A Money Mule is a person who transfers stolen money between different countries.
Money mules are recruited, sometimes unwittingly, by criminals to transfer illegally obtained money between different bank accounts. Money mules receive the stolen funds into their account, they are then asked to withdraw it and wire the money to a different account, often one overseas, keeping some of the money for themselves. Even if you’re unaware that the money you’re transferring was illegally obtained, you have played an important role in fraud and money laundering, and can still be prosecuted. Criminals will often use fake job adverts or create social media posts about opportunities to make money quickly, in order to lure potential money mule recruits.
D. Guide to Debt and Borrowing
A comprehensive guide to taking control of debt, getting free debt advice, and how to borrow affordably is available from MoneyHelper.
- Prioritise and deal with late payment letters
- Comprehensive details of how to prioritise your debts is available from MoneyHelper.
- Ignoring late payment letters is the worst thing you can do and will only make the situation worse
- Advice on how to prioritise late payment letters is available from AdviserBook.
More information on letters from creditors is available at StepChange Debt Charity.
E. Debt Collection Agencies
If your debts have been in arrears for a while, or you’ve been sent default notices, you’ll almost certainly start to hear from debt collectors. For an explanation of why debt collection agencies are involved, follow this link. Unlike a Bailiff, a debt collector does not have any special legal powers – a full explanation is available here. Full details of how debt collectors work and what they can do is available from StepChange Debt Charity.
F. Letters and Court Forms
Sample letters and downloadable templates that will help you write to creditors or debt collectors are available at this link.
A library of common court forms and guidance notes to help you respond to the County Court or respond to a statutory demand from creditors is available at this link.
G. Debt Confidentiality
The details of your debts are confidential and your and cannot be discussed or disclosed by your creditors to any third party.
Further details are available at this link.
H. What to do if your creditor goes into administration
Information on where you stand and what to do if the business that you have a debt with to goes into administration is available from stepchange.org.
Improve Your Credit Rating after a DMP
If you’re close to finishing a debt management plan (DMP) it’s important to spend time working to improve your credit rating to protect your financial future.
More information is available from StepChange MoneyAware.
I. Loan Sharks:
A loan shark is a moneylender who charges extremely high rates of interest, typically under illegal conditions. The Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) is a specialist agency that prosecutes loan sharks and supports people affected by this crime.
2. Community Support Groups giving financial advice and support
1. Citizens Advice Service
Address: 14-15 Brunswick Place, Southampton SO15 2AQ
Telephone: 0808 27 87 863 (Freephone) please call first to make an appointment
Telephone between 9.30am and 4pm Monday to Friday – a receptionist will take details and pass to an adviser, who will call back.
Citizens Advice Southampton offers accredited advice, information and guidance on a wide range of issues including benefits, employment, debt, housing, consumer issues, and many more. The level of support ranges from initial advice and signposting through to specialist casework where this is required.
We work closely with Southampton City Council, the DWP and other advice services in the Advice in Southampton partnership.
Lots of information is available via the National Citizens Advice website, citizensadvice.org.uk
2. Home Group
Free support and qualified advice on benefits, housing, debts, money management, accessing community services
Contact via this number: Phone 0191 731 1958. The phoneline is open from Monday to Friday 9.30am-4pm
This service is provided by Southampton Flexible HRS Service which is run by Home Group care and support providers who work with people who have a variety of needs.
Polish and Spanish speakers available.
3. Southampton City And Region Action To Combat Hardship (SCRATCH)
SCRATCH provides services that relieve the effects of hardship, disadvantage, and poverty for individuals and families living in Southampton and the surrounding area.
Address: Unit 33, Mount Pleasant Industrial Estate, Southampton, UK, SO14 0SP,
SCRATCH is committed to making a positive difference for our clients by responding to the crippling effects of poverty caused by, but not limited to:
- Family Breakdown
- Domestic Violence
- Physical and Mental Illness
- Lack of skills
- Benefit issues
- Financial difficulties
We achieve this by recycling PRODUCTS
SCRATCH understands and reacts to the changing environment and needs of our clients / funders by supplying basic needs including:
- Furniture & Household items
- Small electrical items
- Volunteering opportunities
- Advice and guidance
- Utility vouchers*
- Domestic Appliances for certain areas subject to meeting strict criteria
We achieve these aims through our projects:
- DORCAS PROJECT – provides good quality furniture and household items
- REMOVALS PROJECT – provides an emergency removal scheme mainly in conjunction with Winchester City Council
- COMMUNITY RE-PAINT – redistributes donated paint to referred clients and community group
- WORKSHOP / UPCYCLING – gives volunteers to opportunity to make items from pallets and upcycle donated furniture that otherwise might end up in landfill
Please note that Dorcas Project, Removals Project and Community Re-paint are not direct access projects; individuals and families need to be referred by one of our recognised referral agencies.
4. StepChange – Free Confidential Fianancial Advice
- Give us details of your debts, income and household spending.
- We work out your budget so you’ll have a clear picture of where your money goes.
- You get free debt advice – You will receive your personal action plan and detailed and practical advice.
Contact us at 0800 138 1111
Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 8am to 4pm
5. Christians Against Poverty, (CAP)
CAP offers free debt counselling to anyone in the community regardless of race or religion. Our usual service is face to face with clients in their homes. There are centres are Southampton East (based at Kings Church, Hedge End) and Southampton West (The Boathouse) Clients can refer themselves very simply by calling 0800 328 0006.
6. Frontline Debt Advice offer
Frontline has an Advice Clinic at the following venues – please book an appointment at:
Swaythling SO 16: Swaythling Frontline Debt Advice, C/O The Vicarage, 357 Burgess Road, Southampton SO16 3BD. 02380 552866 or 07977 175949 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thornhill SO18 at Thornhill Baptist Church, Thornhill Park Road, Southampton, Hampshire SO18 5TR. 07806 264020 email@example.com
7. Southampton Church Rent Deposit Scheme
The Southampton Church Rent Deposit Scheme aims to help people on low income or in receipt of welfare benefits who need funding to gain access to the privately rented accommodation in the City of Southampton. Contact us today to see if we can help you.
Contact 023 8023 4000 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Peer Support Groups and Courses on Good Financial Management
Monty’s Fry Up and Finances Group. 9 AM – 10:30 am on the first Friday of the month at 59 Montague Avenue, SO19 0QB Southampton, UK. Contact: 07493306046. This is a peer-led discussion over a coffee group. All welcome. So you can eat, chat and get answers all at the same time!
Money Matters Course: My Bnk is looking to offer young people aged 7-25 free of charge and fully funded financial workshops which teach essential life skills of handling money.
What are we offering?
- Free resources: power points and printed resources included
Financially trained experts to deliver money sessions
16-25 can be accredited with our 2 day ABC Level 1 Money Management Course (Money Works)
Group size 6-15
2 x 4.5 hours or 4 x 2.25 hours
Workbooks that are marked and assessed for passing the course
CV opportunity – these courses count towards their CVs
A location to hold sessions is available upon request
Interactive and fun sessions
Impact, making a difference to young people’s lives
Virtual Sessions to allow access for all
Topics we cover:
Forms of borrowing, credit history, debt consequences & prioritisation, staying safe with money, understanding “money-muling”, which is a person who transfers stolen money between different countries. Money mules are recruited, sometimes unwittingly, by criminals to transfer illegally obtained money between different bank accounts. Money mules receive the stolen funds into their account, they are then asked to withdraw it and wire the money to a different account, often one overseas, keeping some of the money for themselves.
How to protect yourself from scams:
- No legitimate company will ever ask you to use your own bank account to transfer your money. Don’t accept any job offers that ask you to do this.
- Be especially wary of job offers from people or companies overseas as it will be harder for you to find out if they really are legitimate.
- Never give your financial details to someone you don’t know and trust
For more information, contact: Email:email@example.com Phone no: 07463486863