DWBL Helped Residents to Improve their Money Management

Grants awarded:

DWBL awarded £61,098 to East Sussex Credit Union between 2016 and 2022.

£60,169 – Provision of Help Points in the DWBL area.

£929 – Tide Me Over Loans – emergency loan scheme during the Covid

The help points were introduced to help residents avoid exploitation by loan sharks and payday lenders by providing support for financially vulnerable residents as well as the street community using the nearby Matthew 25.
The first Help Point was open in February 2016 at the Devonshire Children’s Centre and following cutbacks moved to 125 Seaside which is being developed as a community hub. A Help Point was also provided at YMCA (Charlies) for a period before this was also affected by cutbacks.

Through the Help Points, ESCU was able to increase its membership in the area and to provide support and services to financially vulnerable residents. An important element of this was the setting up bank accounts to deal with Universal Credits and they have done pioneering work with the street community and homeless.
Through these bank accounts residents have made significant saving on loans and increases to their savings.

DWBL continued to fund ESVC during COVID pandemic and multiple lockdowns and awarded £3,000 to underwrite high risk emergency loans. Most of the loans provided were paid back in full and unspent grant was returned. Although ESCU was unable to run the Help Points, they refocused to provide services remotely. All money management advice and help were put on the ESCU & Chorus websites as easy to download documents and online banking was upgraded.

ESCU also went through a rebranding and now operates as Wave Community Bank.