One of the Trust's main priorities is to start to develop a financial inclusion service for the most financially-disadvantaged in Thamesmead.
This work is set to become a reality next month when Fair Finance opens a new service from our offices in Thamesmead town centre.
Two Fair Finance advisors will initially be based at the Trust for three days every week to help on a wide range of issues such as rent arrears, debt counselling, sensible repayment arrangements, outstanding bills and existing loans and debts.
Fair Finance is a social business based in East London which offers a range of financial products and services designed to meet the needs of people who are financially excluded. Most of its customers are ignored by the mainstream financial services industry and exploited by the sub-prime and doorstop lender. It has been providing free advice since 2001, and has helped customers deal with £300,000 of debt and £120,000 of housing arrears.
This is the first branch of Fair Finance to open in South London.
Trust Chief Executive Mick Hayes said: “This new Fair Finance service is set to make a significant impact on the lives of some of the most financially-excluded people in Thamesmead.
“By providing the debt advice and financial capability workshop we will over three years make an estimated £1m saving on interest payments. Local residents, in particular those who already financially excluded, will be supported to get on their feet and become debt free and financial capability workshops will support some of the poorest residents to access banking services and equitable sources of credit.
“By the end of March 2015 we will aim to have supported 1600 residents, 850 residents will have received local debt advice from Fair Finance and 120 residents will have been helped to open bank accounts. Other strands of this work include support for the local Credit Union and our continued campaign to see a bank established in Abbey Wood/Thamesmead.”