Money advice groups unable to cope with demand, says survey

Majority have seen increase in demand, while a third say they are too busy to assist all who seek help

A third of independent advisers helping people with money problems say they are unable to cope with the demand for their services because of a lack of resources, according to a new survey.

Respondents to the poll of 293 advisers by information charity Turn2us blamed staff shortages for the lack of available help for people in financial difficulties.

The advisers, who work in charity and private sectors, also reported problems locating help for people. Thirty-six per cent said they relied on word of mouth to find out about grant-giving charities that could support their clients.

Jolanta Lasota, chief executive of Turn2us, said the findings were worrying. "Previous research has shown that independent advice agencies are the most popular route people use to find information," she said. "As the level of need continues to rise in the current climate, it is crucial that we support these advisers and speed up the process for checking entitlement to both charitable grants and welfare benefits."

The Turn2us website includes a free service giving advisers instant, accurate information on grants and benefits. The charity is urging advice agencies to refer to the website.

Eighty-five per cent of advisers also said there had been an increase in the number of people coming to them in the past six months, and 95 per cent expected demand to increase in the next six months.

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