Citizens Advice Esher and District has been awarded a grant of £20,000 from the Lowell Giving Community Fund, through the Community Foundation for Surrey. The grant is payable over two years and has been given to assist us in delivering counselling and financial capability training to young people in the area.

Linda Wheatley, CEO of Citizens Advice Esher, said: “Few people realise that Citizens Advice is a charity and all our advisers are trained volunteers, so we rely on funding from the local authority and support from grant-giving bodies and donations to deliver our service. This new grant from the Community Foundation is fantastic news as it will help us to provide specialist advice on debt and money management to young people who come to us for help, and also develop our Financial Capability Training package, targeted at local sixth form colleges and schools, so we can help young people understand the importance of managing their money early on and avoid getting into debt.

“Over the last year we have helped nearly 2500 local people and debt is one of the biggest problems we see. It is particularly challenging for young people when they have their first child, or set up their own business.

For young people starting out in the workplace, or getting student loans, it is often the first time in their lives that they have a significant amount of money to spend and they can face bewildering offers of overdraft facilities, credit cards, loyalty cards and payday loans. It is amazing how quickly things can spiral out of control if you are not careful and at Citizens Advice we see all too often the devastating impact that debt can have on young people’s lives. The aim of our Financial Capability Training is to equip young people with money management skills for life, so they can budget with confidence from the outset.”

Citizens Advice Esher operates a drop-in service five days a week for free advice. Schools and Sixth Form colleges wishing to take advantage of the Financial Capability Training programme should contact us on 01372 464770.

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