Causeway Chronicle

Council announces financial support for Community Advice Causeway

Julie Welsh (Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Head of Community and Culture), Samantha Boswell (Chief Officer, Community Advice Causeway). Sr Anne McWilliams (Member of Board of the Community Advice Causeway Trustees), Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Steven Callaghan, Catherine McWhinney (Member of Board of Community Advice Causeway Trustees), Pat Mulvenna (Director of Leisure and Development at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council), Patricia Mulligan (Department for Communities), Louise Scullion (Community Development Manager at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council) and Margaret Gordon (Chair of Board of Trustees).

Council is pleased to announce that it is awarding a contract to Community Advice Causeway. This will allow the group to continue to provide independent advice to residents across Causeway Coast and Glens.

Community Advice Causeway offer advice on a wide range of issues, such as Benefits and Appeals, Employment, Housing, Debt, Family Issues, Immigration, Education, Legal and Courts, and Consumer Issues. 

The £260,000 contract has been partially funded by the Department of Communities and has been awarded as a result of a competitive tendering process. The contract can be extended for an additional three years, subject to funding from the Department of Communities.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Steven Callaghan highlighted how important it is to have advice centres throughout the Borough.

He said: “Access to free, confidential advice from an expert source has never been more important. The cost of living is high and many families and individuals are struggling with bills, travel to work, childcare issues, social isolation, accessing suitable housing, and health problems, to name a few.

“We are delighted to support Community Advice Causeway and their qualified and experienced team to continue to provide this invaluable service to our residents.”

Community Advice Causeway provides a flexible advice service and residents can choose to access advice via telephone, email or pre-arranged face-to-face appointments.

Appointments are available in Coleraine office, Ballycastle Town Hall, Sheskburn House Ballycastle, and Limavady Community Development Initiative. Outreach venues can be made available in other areas if necessary.

Samantha Boswell, Chief Officer at Community Advice Causeway said: “The Board of Trustees and the operational team at Community Advice Causeway are delighted to have secured this contract.

“For over 50 years, we have served the people of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, delivering free, independent, confidential advice to everyone who needs us.

“It is an honour to know that we have the support of our Council and our community to continue to do so.”

Samantha added: “Our qualified and experienced advice team are there to help people to deal with the problems that they face. We use our expertise and resources to help every client to explore their options and find a way forward, whatever their situation.”

During the ongoing migration from legacy benefits to Universal Credit, Community Advice Causeway are encouraging people to reach out for advice when they receive a notice about changes to their awards in order to get help to navigate the changes and to ensure that they continue to receive their full entitlement.

Council’s Corporate Strategy 2021-25 aims to support citizens and communities to develop improved approaches to health and wellbeing and the advice service contributes to achieving this outcome.

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Maurice Bradley