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Preston Post Office to host ‘Stop the Silence’ financial advice pop-up

Posted on - 8th July, 2022 - 12:12pm | Author - | Posted in - City Centre, Preston City Centre, Preston News, What's On in Preston
Preston Post Office, Theatre St. Pic: Google

Two Preston Post Offices will run free pop-up events next week to offer support to residents struggling with their energy bills.

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British Gas and Post Office will run the ‘Stop the Silence’ pop-ups on Monday 11 July from 1pm to 4pm at Unit 1 Urban Exchange in Theatre Street, and on Wednesday 13 July from 1pm to 4pm at 81-85 Meadow Street.

The ‘Stop the Silence’ pop-ups have offered practical and financial advice in towns and cities across the UK since May, with the campaign launching in London, Glasgow, West Bromwich and Cardiff at the end of May, with other locations nationwide in June and July.

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Post Office Chief Executive Nick Read said: “Post Offices are at the heart of every community. Millions of people visit our branches weekly to pay bills or top up their gas and electricity metres.

“We know from what Postmasters tell us that there are people really struggling out there to pay their bills, and they’re seeing customers come through their door for the first time asking what support is available for bill payments.

“We’re proud to be partnering with British Gas on such an important initiative.

“We’ll be closely monitoring how helpful people find these new pop-up support centres and encourage anyone who lives close to one and is struggling to attend a free, private consultation at our branch.”

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Trained energy debt advisors will attend local branches to provide confidential face-to-face sessions to anyone in the community seeking financial or practical advice.

The rising cost of living means more people are experiencing financial difficulty for the first time.

The organisers said residents worried about money and energy debt might not know where to turn or how to take the first step in understanding what support is available.

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‘Stop the Silence’ will offer walk-ins on an appointment.  

British Gas research conducted by YouGov found that 40 per cent of adults will struggle to pay their next energy bill, with more than a third (35 per cent) suffering in silence.

The research identified the emotional toll energy debt was causing, with two-thirds (65 per cent) reporting increased anxiety due to struggles paying energy bills.

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British Gas Energy Trust Chief Executive Jessica Taplin said: “Partnering with Post Office, an organisation that remained a constant in our lives throughout the pandemic, will help provide a lifeline to those communities we know are really struggling.

“The trust’s mission is to alleviate the impact of poverty, and being visible in local, familiar places like the post office enables us to reach more people.

“You don’t have to be a British Gas customer to access the help and support offered at these pop-ups or from the trust itself.

“Our aim is to run these pop-ups throughout the summer and potentially beyond this, particularly when the next energy price increase is announced, and even more people might be looking for help.” 

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Customers will receive a step-by-step overview of the support available to them and signposted to other organisations who may be able to help, have benefits entitlement checked and offer energy-saving tips and advice.

British Gas Energy Trust is an independent charitable trust established and solely funded by British Gas to alleviate the detrimental impact of energy stress on its customers and people with other providers.

The trust helps people in or at risk of financial hardship make their energy payments and manage their finances through support, education and sound money management. 

For more information, visit – https://www.britishgas.co.uk/energy/british-gas-energy-trust.html

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