The impact of cuts, unstable employment and changes to benefits has placed significant pressure on working-age people. Often even if architects are working they are still short of money to meet their basic needs. This means that we have to think creatively about how to help. Basic benefits no longer bring people to a ‘reasonable acceptable standard of living’ (The Joseph Rowntree Foundation).
Disability and ill-health are both causes and effects of low income. If you are unable to work because of ill-health or disability then you are more likely to have difficulty eating well, heating your home or participating in society. This in turn can make people depressed, experiencing poor nutrition and more liable to chronic disease and ill-health.
Debt is a major worry for many of our beneficiaries. If your income is low, how do you buy high cost essentials such a fridge or replace a boiler? Catalogue companies and credit cards are the easy options. Poor credit records have a significant negative impact on the ability to obtain the best deals for domestic fuel, telecommunications and thereby entrench poverty and social exclusion further.
Meeting the cost of escalating rents has also become a major issue. With insecure tenancies and poor quality housing further disadvantaging the people we help.
What the ABS can do to help:
– Referring on for high quality debt and benefits advice. If your financial situation has changed or you are experiencing financial problems and would like professional advice please contact us.
– Sign-posting and helping beneficiaries to be informed about their rights and options when they are in debt and experiencing disadvantage.
– Helping people to improve their employability through access to employment support.
– Offering a top-up to benefits and wages to ensure that the people that we help have a ‘reasonable and acceptable standard of living’.
– Access to mental wellbeing support including Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Clinical Hypnotherapy through our partnership with Anxiety UK.
To read the stories of some of our beneficiaries please access the Our Stories page.
If you would like to find out if we can help you, please call 020 7580 2823 for an informal and confidential chat with our friendly and sensitive welfare team.
Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org, fill in our online form or write to us at Welfare Team, Architects Benevolent Society, 43 Portland Place, London W1B 1QH.