New 'worrying about money?' support tool launched in Moray

SUPPORT for those in Moray who need access to money has been boosted through a new online interactive tool and leaflet.

Available in multiple languages, the ‘Worrying About Money?’ tool offers advice and support for those struggling to make ends meet.

It allows users – both residents and agencies – to select options within interactive form, in order to provide tailored support. Options include suddenly having no access to money through job loss, relationship breakdown, or fire or flood; having been sanctioned; awaiting a benefit decision; or that their money isn’t stretching far enough due to low income, sick pay, change of circumstance; and being in debt through housing or council tax arrears, personal loans, store cards or something else.

Depending on the answers entered into the form, bespoke advice will be returned and signpost the user to help and more information on that specific topic, for example benefit advice, The Scottish Welfare Fund, debt advice, and more.

There are also a number of other resources and agencies which could support those struggling with money, including Step Change, Home Energy Scotland, and Moray Firth Credit Union.

The tool has been co-developed by the Fairer Moray Forum Action Group – which includes representation from Moray Council, TSI Moray, Moray Food Plus, NHS Grampian, REAP, and more – and the Independent Food Aid Network.

The step-by-step guides identify which local agencies are best placed to help people maximise income and access any existing financial entitlements and its design is based on learning from Scotland's A Menu for Change project.

The collaboration with local authority teams, advice providers, food aid organisations and other local stakeholders has seen the co-production of  cash-first referral leaflets for nearly all of Scotland’s local authorities, with funding from the Scottish Government. 

Moray Council’s Benefits and Money Advice Manager, Norma Matheson, said: “We’re taking the opportunity during Challenge Poverty Week to raise awareness of this new support available to Moray residents. Though it’s available online, there are thousands of leaflets with the information being distributed to venues across Moray for those with limited or no access to the internet.

“As the cost of living crisis bites, agencies and organisations across Moray are pulling together to ensure the best advice and support network is in place to help those struggling and worrying about money.

“Talking to someone, accessing additional benefits, getting help with bills and debts, and learning more about the support available can help alleviate, to some extent, money worries.”

tsiMORAY’s Partnership Development Lead, Elidh Brown, said: “Money worries cause stress and can have really negative impacts on people's lives.

“We hope this tool will encourage and help people to seek and find the right advice and support and, ultimately, be and feel more in control of their finances, and their lives.”

Sabine Goodwin of the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) said: “We’ve been delighted to work with stakeholders in Moray to co-develop the Moray ‘Worrying About Money?’ leaflet at time when cash first help is needed more than ever.

“We hope that this step-by-step guide will help as many people as possible to maximise their incomes while reducing the need for charitable food aid.”

Contact Information

Moray Council Press Office