Hi, I am the Social Media Volunteer here at RACA :). I am also a person who is being shielded under Scottish Government advice. It has been difficult at times, but after living with a lung condition from birth I am determined that Covid-19 is coming nowhere near me! It has been good to volunteer while at home though and I was able to join the RACA Summer Event held recently. This was via another online platform I had to get used to! We are learning a lot of new technology during this time!
The Event focussed on how RACA’s partner organisations are dealing with Covid-19. This made me realise that “credit” or “affordable credit” is not solely about borrowing money, but who can assist with your outgoings or money problems. There are organisations available to families and vulnerable people that can provide information and services to help manage living costs – and they’re alive and kicking across Renfrewshire!
Energy consumption and prepayment meters, especially for those who are in shielding was a hot topic. I was glad to hear that this is very much on the minds of Renfrewshire Council’s Energy Advocacy Team who, like Citizens Advice Scotland(CAS), can support you in the issues you may have with your provider*. It is expected that fuel debt enquiries will increase in the post Covid-19 period due to the extra costs incurred in staying home. I am of the opinion that everyone should seek assistance on their fuel consumption as it is a very complex issue. By contacting energy advisers, it could lead to better support and could save ££.
We also heard from **Trading Standards Scotland who have a @StopLoanSharks campaign. Their message is “You Are Not Alone” and if you find you are in a precarious credit position, or know someone who is, please stop, seek help or talk to the person. Consider contacting their free 24-hour helpline on 0800 074 0878 or text ‘loan shark’ and the details to 07741 701 325 .
RACA’s message is that the most vulnerable people in our society and communities are often hit hardest when getting credit. With various non-cash giving options at our disposal there are aspects of our outgoings that could potentially be credit-ed back to us – with the right help.