Published 17 June 2020

West Dunbartonshire residents have been supported to claim more than £11million in benefits in the past year.

The Council’s Working4U service provided vital advice and guidance to help residents access any financial support they were entitled to.

The team also offer support to those struggling with their finances , helping residents manage £3.2million worth of debt.

A total of 7,563 residents benefitted from help and support from the service in some form.

That number includes 353 local people entering employment following guidance from Working4U; 152 supported through an apprenticeship;  1128 local people helped to  enter education or training; 667 people gaining an accredited qualification, and 208 people taking part in Working4U courses aimed at improving literacy and numeracy. 

Councillor Diane Docherty, Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “These figures go to show what a vital service Working4U is, and what important work they do in our communities.

“The staff members at the service are able to help residents navigate many complicated systems, as well as offer guidance and support for those who are desperate to get back into work.

“Perhaps the most impressive stat  is the people who have achieved a qualification, or apprenticeship, after taking support from the team.”

Councillor Caroline McAllister, Vice Convener for Housing and Communities, added: “We recognise the challenges that residents face in our area both with poverty and high levels of unemployment.

“The Working4U service is making great strides towards changing that by helping our residents help themselves.”

“The difference Working4U is making to people’s lives cannot be overstated – this is millions of pounds which may have otherwise gone unclaimed, saving many people from going into further hardship.

“Their work is perhaps even more important now than ever,  in a time when many residents may be worried about their financial future during this pandemic.”

The team offers free, confidential advice and assistance on a range of matters including employment, benefits, debt, income maximisation and budgeting.

Residents can also speak to the team for support with changes to benefits and help completing benefit claim and other forms.

To contact Working4U, please visit www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/jobs-and-training/working4u/get-in-touch/  or call 01389 738296.