Support to Success
Support to Success brings together local advice and support available to Solihull residents to help them be successful in seven key areas:
Often paying closer attention to these key areas can offset some of the strain caused by higher living costs, loss of employment or changes to benefits.
If you would like more advice about any of these key areas you can speak to someone at our Community Advice Hubs at The Core Library (B91 3RG) or Chelmsley Wood Library (B37 5TN) or call 0121 709 7590.
Staff will be able to point you in the direction of useful resources and partnership organisations that can help you with your issue.
Getting help with debt
People fall into debt for a variety of reasons such as loss of employment or an unexpected expense due to an accident. If you have loans, credit cards or other debts that you are feeling you are never going to clear, you can get help and advice on how to move towards clearing those debts.
For help getting out of debt you can speak to our Community Advice Hubs at The Core Library (B91 3RG) or Chelmsley Wood Library (B37 5TN) or call 0121 709 7590. Staff will be able to point you in the direction of useful resources and partnership organisations that can help you with your debt problem.
Alternatively, you can call (0808 808 4000) or visit the website for the National Debt Line. There you will be able to webchat with an advisor who will be able to give you advice on handling your situation.
Also, you can visit Money Advice Service’s Debt and Advice section.
Many people don’t immediately notice the effect of a subtle increase in the cost of living, however by creating a budget you could help keep your household finances in order. This will allow you to put cash away for emergencies such as car repairs, replace a washing machine or deal with a problem with the house.
If you are currently receiving out of work benefits via Universal Credit, you will need to budget as all your benefits will be paid in one monthly lump sum.
For support to get budgeting successfully you can speak to someone at our Community Advice Hubs at The Core Library (B91 3RG) or Chelmsley Wood Library (B37 5TN) or call 0121 709 7590. Staff will be able to point you in the direction of useful resources and partnership organisations that can help you with your issue.
Act on Energy provides advice to help improve your home’s energy efficiency or to compare gas and electric prices to help you save money. You can also visit the Money Saving Expert website for advice.
Claiming Universal Credit
Universal Credit is a payment from Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help with your living costs and is paid monthly. You may be able to get it if you or your partner are of working age and are on a low income or out of work.
If you want help claiming Universal Credit contact the Citizens Advice Solihull Bureau by calling 0300 330 9019.
Getting a bank account
Many banks offer a basic bank account that will enable you to receive payments, pay bills and withdraw cash for free. Having a bank account can help you budget and manage your money more effectively. You can also open an account with a credit union as an alternative to one of the high street banks.
To receive Universal Credit payments you will need a bank account.
The Money Advice Service provides advice on how to choose the right bank account.
Alternatively, you can visit a bank near you.
Credit union accounts will enable you to pay bills, have a pre-paid debit card, save or even take out affordable loans. Advance Credit Union covers the Solihull area. For more information on opening an account or on services they provide call 0121 350 8883.
Getting into work
At any point in your life you can need help getting into work. Whether it is due to an unexpected redundancy or a need to change scenery, the idea of getting into work can be a stressful experience.
If you are looking for work, the Employment and Skills Team at Solihull Council can point you in the right direction. You can call them on 0121 704 8076.
You can also speak to someone at our Community Advice Hubs at The Core Library (B91 3RG) or Chelmsley Wood Library (B37 5TN) or call 0121 709 7590. Staff will be able to point you in the direction of useful resources and partnership organisations that can help you with your issue.
Improving your online skills
Getting online can open up a world of opportunity such as keeping in touch with friends and family, getting a job or finding a new home. Also many companies, local resources and services are now mostly accessible via the internet.
Having access to the internet can even help with day-to-day tasks like paying your utility bills and buying food.
For support getting online visit any of our Solihull Libraries where you can use a computer and get online for free. All you need is your library card, if you don’t have a library card you can get that free of charge too (just take along proof of your name and address). For help finding your local library call 0121 704 6965
If you aren’t used to using a computer and you are out of work, ReCOM provide basic training at Chelmsley Wood, Shirley and Solihull central libraries. You can get help with setting up an email account, handle online application forms, produce CVs, write a letter in Word and use spreadsheets.
ReCOM also run silver Surfer Courses (for over 55s) in Shirley and Chelmsley Wood. Classes are available for both Beginners and Improvers. These cost £50 for ten weeks and some free places are available for those on an income-related benefit.
Also, if you are housebound ReCOM could provide a free computer and training in your own home.
For more information, visit recom.org.uk or call 0121 663 0335 or speak to a member of staff in person at our Community Advice Hubs at The Core Library (B91 3RG) or Chelmsley Wood Library (B37 5TN).
Taking steps to get healthier could give you more energy, make you feel good about yourself, increase your mobility, help you live for longer and may save you money.
For advice and support on keeping fit, eating healthily and for local physical activity options visit www.nhs.uk/Change4Life and www.solihullactive.co.uk
If you are concerned about your weight speak to your GP about a referral to your nearest weight loss club or Specialist Weight Management Clinic.
Research is showing us how certain things we do can improve our moods, reduced depression, strengthen relationships, keep us healthy and even add seven years to our lives.
If you often feel anxious, low in mood or depressed Birmingham Healthy Minds offers advice, information and support visit: call 0121 301 2525 or text BHM to 6077.
A range of services to improve your wellbeing are also available through Solihull MIND.
For free help and advice to quit smoking visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree and help and advice on drinking less visit www.drinkaware.co.uk
If you are concerned about your own or someone else's drinking or drug use then for confidential advice and information visit Solihull's Integrated Addiction Services (SIAS) or call 0121 678 4730.
Further help and Information
For further details on financial support available, including our directory of Financial Help and Community Support which provides a comprehensive list of local organisations who provide help and advice on finances, debt, housing, employment, health, safeguarding, family support and community support visit www.solihull.gov.uk/Resident/Benefits/welfarereform.