Money matters to Rotary team

An ambitious project that aims to help more than 100 families deal with problem debt and turn their lives around has been launched, thanks to funding from the Folkestone Community Works scheme.

EU FUNDS LOGO MAIN AND THUMBNAIL IMAGE

Folkestone Rotary Club has teamed up with Citizens Advice and Kent Coast Volunteering to launch Money Matters Folkestone, with a grant from Folkestone Community Works added to money raised by volunteers.

The scheme was set up after Folkestone & Hythe District Council secured £2.5m from the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund. The money is to help people in the East, Central and Harbour wards of Folkestone build businesses and increase employment as well as increasing opportunities.

David Roseveare, project director for Folkestone Rotary Club, said their idea grew from a desire to make sure Rotary money could make a real difference.

All too often we found ourselves giving grants to families and individuals that helped for a short time but didn't tackle the social issues or debt they were facing.
We spoke to other charities and found there were some great schemes about employment, or wellbeing, but nothing that really brought everything together.
This meant things could be missed, and people found themselves in a vicious cycle of debt with no real help to get out of it.
David Roseveare, project director for Folkestone Rotary Club

Rotarians from clubs in Cologne in Germany, Lille in France and Liege in Belgium got behind the project, and Citizens Advice agreed to provide expert money advisors. Kent Coast Volunteering helped recruit mentors to support people through the process.

Money Matters Folkestone aims to be a hub for support, where people can tackle money difficulties but also get advice and information on other issues affecting their lives, from health to family problems.

What is different about our project is that we won't just give people a plan to tackle their debt and leave them to it, our trained mentors will help them through the process.
Our focus is on helping people into work, education or training but we also want to help people feel happier about themselves and to get on a different path of life.
Our experience tells us that often people feel like they can't tackle life's big issues if they are facing a mountain of debt, because that can consume all their attention.David Roseveare

The project will run for three years and held its first money advice surgery on Friday. More sessions are planned in venues such as the Rainbow Centre and Mind, and people can be referred via charities or other partners or via professionals such as GPs or social workers.

Participants need to be unemployed and must live in the east Folkestone area, but anyone who doesn't meet the criteria will be signposted to other services by Citizens Advice.

If we can make a real difference to someone's life, by helping them out of debt and into work, we will be happy.
We are right at the start of the process now but I am confident that by the end we will have had a positive impact on a lot of people, and that will improve things for their families too.
We are grateful for the generosity of all our sponsors in making the project a reality.
David Roseveare

For more information on Folkestone Rotary Club, see http://www.folkestonerotary.org/ and for more on Folkestone Community Works see https://folkestone.works/funding-and-support/folkestone-community-works/

Published on 12 June 2019