People are invited to “appeal” for financial support

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has urged people to contact her department to check their eligibility for financial assistance in the face of the current cost of living crisis.

Minister Hargey was speaking as she met people who could benefit from the service as ‘Make the Call’ expands its outreach services to all communities at a time when families, retirees and workers are grappling with rising household costs.

The Make the Call service helps people access a wide range of benefits and supports that they are entitled to but have not claimed.

Joining the outreach team at Ormeau Road Library in Belfast, where sessions have been run as part of a wider partnership with NI Libraries, Minister Hargey said: “I am determined to do whatever I can to support individuals and families struggling to cope with mounting hardship and inevitable financial pressures.

“The Make the Call service is designed to maximize benefits support and by bringing the service into communities, people can call and speak with staff who can review any help that may be available to them.

“The team is available for confidential face-to-face discussions and can walk you through the process and verify possible eligibility. Last month, of the 4,927 who called, 1,681 were identified as having new entitlements to benefits and other support services.”

The Make the Call team offers surgeries at local libraries including Bangor, Rathcoole, Grove, Ormeau Road and Derry Central as part of a wider partnership with Libraries NI.

Minister Hargey continued, “Libraries are at the heart of their communities and I am delighted that NI Libraries has joined the ministry as we expand our outreach efforts so that more people contact the Make the Call team to see whether they are entitled to financial support. , especially at a time when people are grappling with rising energy, fuel and food costs. »

To ‘place the call’ you can call 0800 232 1271; text ADVICE to 079 8440 5248; Visit Make the call.

Other Make the Call community clinics will be held at the following libraries:

Grove: Wednesday, September 14

Rathcoole: Tuesday, September 20

Derry Central: Tuesday 27 September

Bangor Carnegie: Monday, October 3

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