'Haringey, Here to Help – for residents needing financial support'

EMBARGOED TO 0001 FRIDAY MAY 14 File photo dated 26/01/18 of money. New services will become availab

Fuel bills are contributing to the rising cost of living - Credit: PA

Energy bills have become the latest "cost of living" strain on our household budgets. My own bill is up by £30 a month, and through my current petition campaign I am hearing about eye-watering increases from Haringey residents.

In a couple of weeks Ofgem, the energy regulator, will be announcing the new price cap. Economists have already estimated that could lead to a potential further rise of 50%.

I am scared, despite my partner and I being in good jobs. I cannot even imagine what those in our community who are already financially struggling are feeling.

As the cabinet member for welfare, I wanted to let residents know that the council has support available for those who are feeling the financial strain. Last year we foresaw the biggest threat to our community was that of debt and the "cost of living" crisis. I led on developing our welfare support to ensure we were there for residents in need.

Cllr Seema Chandwani, Cabinet Member for Customer Service, Welfare and The Public Realm

Cllr Seema Chandwani says that there is help for those feeling the financial strain - Credit: ©David Mirzoeff

Haringey, Here to Help is a project that gives residents information about support available from the council, charities and central government. We have a new financial support team who can help residents access support, including through our new Benefit Maximising Officers.

We launched the Haringey Support Fund in 2021 to give financial support to residents in emergency situations, and we also have the discretionary housing payments to assist with those facing rent debt.

I know many residents feel uncomfortable seeking support or some just do not know where to start.

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I grew up in severe poverty in Haringey during the 80s and 90s, so I understand how difficult it can be. I personally oversaw the creation of the Haringey, Here to Help project to make sure it provides the right information, support and practical help you might need to assist you through these tough times.

There is £16bn of unclaimed benefits each year in this country, many of you could be missing out because of confusion or not getting the right advice. Our team is here to help in any way that we can, so please contact us if you need support.

For more information please visit haringey.gov.uk/here-to-help

Cllr Seema Chandwani (Lab, West Green) is Haringey's cabinet member for customer service, welfare and the public realm.