Hardship scheme delivers £500,000 in cash benefits

A Liverpool city region project to support people hit by the cost of living crisis delivers £500,000 of cash benefits in the first three months. Tony McDonough reports

Professor Maggie O’Carroll
Professor Maggie O’Carroll, chief executive of The Women’s Organisation


People struggling with the cost of living crisis across Liverpool city region have received £500,000 in cash benefits from a new support scheme.

Launched three months ago, Mind and Money is part of Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s £2m Better Off Support scheme. Delivery partners are The Women’s Organisation, Vauxhall Law Centre, Pennysmart and Citizens Advice.

Mind and Money offers practical support, advice and financial resilience education for people across areas of Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton.

In the first three months, 520 people have been supported with issues such as income maximisation, debt management, fuel and food. 

Professor Maggie O’Carroll, chief executive of The Women’s Organisation, believes the three-year scheme is having a big impact on those most in need, and the benefits can already be seen. 

“The astronomical rise in the cost of living has resulted in people experiencing severe difficulty when trying to balance their household budgets,” she said.

“Financial resilience, skills and information are hugely important in helping navigate and minimise the impact of rapidly rising costs. 

“The Mind and Money is supporting LCR residents with energy efficiency support, income maximisation, financial and personal confidence and debt reduction and we’re delighted to be involved in something that will make a real difference to people’s lives.

“This support is needed urgently: people are in real difficulty now, and the service partners are working hard to get support to the community.”

Based in the Baltic district, The Women’s Organisation campaigns for equality and delivers a wide range of programmes of support around areas such as enterprise, confidence and resilience, wellbeing, and employment and training.  

The Mind and Money service is aimed at supporting people in crisis but is also designed to help them develop their long-term financial resilience. 

To date support people with crisis issues, with more than £250,000 of debt written off so far, and £440,000 of debt being managed. 


Steve Rotheram
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram. Picture by Tony McDonough


Mr Rotheram added: “The measure of any decent society is how it treats its most vulnerable citizens.

“With the cost of living crisis putting a bigger and bigger strain on people’s outgoings, mental health and wellbeing, I want to help ease the burden for our local residents.

“Devolution is giving areas like ours the opportunity to chart our own course and invest in programmes that will make a real, positive difference to local people’s lives.”

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The programme follows a report mapping out the scale of food poverty across the city region – with food banks unable to meet rising demand due to the cost of living crisis.

Access to the help is made through key referral points such as GPs, mental health and other community and public health organisations.

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