LATEST figures show there has been a 300 per cent increase in people using advice sessions which give information on benefits and debt.

The monthly project, which runs at the Cudworth Centre of Excellence, is sponsored by the village’s ward alliance and newly-released statistics, which run from January 2017 to December 2017, show an average of 4.4 clients were helped at each session.

That’s up from 1.4 in the previous year, marking a significant increase in the demand for the free service.

A report said: “Clients have been supported with 146 different issues including relationship, consumer problems and housing, but the majority of clients accessed our service in relation to benefits including problems with Universal Credit and help with form-filling.
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“In total we assisted clients to claim £27,153 of benefits helped them manage £730 of debt.

“Delivering a support service in a community venue close to where they live means clients can access advice before they reach crisis situations, without incurring additional costs for travel.

“Receiving support helps to reduce stress levels and improve health and wellbeing. Helping clients to manage debt and increase their benefits gives clients more disposable income to spend on the local economy.”