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Financial Inclusion Officers Ola

Ojedokun and Gary Greaves

help residents to maximise their

income by checking on benefits

entitlements and claims,

applying to charities and giving

advice on household budgets.

If you live in Leicestershire or

Northampton, you can also get

free, impartial money advice

from your local Citizens Advice



Susan from Ilkeston is an older

resident who we met during a

personal finance drop-in session

at her sheltered housing


Even though her savings were

below the threshold of £16,000, she

was not getting any help towards

her rent. With Ola’s help she was able

to claim Housing Benefit, Council Tax

Relief, and Guaranteed Pension


Susan kindly phoned Ola’s manager

to say thank you for her support.

It’s great to hear from customers when

things go well.


Julia from Leicester lives alone in

a two-bedroom property, so is

affected by the Bedroom Tax, which

reduces her Housing Benefit by

14% each week for the extra


During 2015/16 Ola and Gary helped emh homes customers

to receive more than £600,000 in extra income. Two recent

examples show how their support can make a real difference.

We have changed people’s names in these summaries.

Because of problems arising from

restricted mobility and mental ill

health, Julia was finding it hard to

manage her money and was falling

into debt, including rent arrears.

Citizens Advice helped her to claim a

Personal Independence Payment,

which upped her income by £55.10

per week. They also helped Julia to

claim a temporary Discretionary

Housing Payment, set up a Direct

Debit for her rent and to budget better.

Thanks to emh homes’ special

deal with Citizens Advice offices in

Leicestershire and

Northamptonshire, almost 500

residents have been helped to

increase their incomes by a total of

more than £120,000.

More than 100 residents joined

a Family Energy Day in Leicester

on 27 February for practical

advice and help on how to help

save both energy and money.

Visitors got free low-energy

lightbulbs and smartplugs, which

power down electrical equipment

left in standby mode. With each

smartplug saving up to £60 a

year, the 120 we gave out at the

event should add up to over

£7,000 of household savings on


The interactive workshop at

Wesley Hall Community Centre

took adults on an energy

efficiency trail to explain fuel

tariffs, heating controls and

grants, while a balloon-modelling

artist kept younger visitors


Energy andmoney savingmade easy

There were displays and sessions

about the benefits of switching

energy suppliers and tariffs, plus

videos about energy-saving tips

and demonstrations of smart

gadgets that save energy and cut


By working with residents we were

able to educate householders on

fairer energy tariffs and encourage

switching, and in turn increase

the number of households that save

money on their fuel bills.

To find out more about the emh Green Team,

check out their website

or follow them on Twitter


The Family Energy Day was

organised and hosted by the emh

Green Team, with funding from the

NEA Warm Homes Campaign

Award scheme and strong support

from the local MP, Jonathan


Timed to coincide with the

national Fuel Poverty Awareness

Day, the event showcased emh

homes’ commitment to helping

residents reduce energy bills and

stay warm.

More activities are planned during

the rest of the year.

Money help is

at hand

Ola Ojedokun

Gary Greaves