RESIDENTS across north-west Glasgow are benefitting from almost £1 million more in their pockets.

Over the past year, the financial inclusion team at Queens Cross Housing Association has helped 175 people successfully access £922k of benefits they were entitled to, but weren’t receiving.

The welfare rights, financial and energy advice is offered to all locals, not just tenants.

Shona Stephen, chief executive of the housing association, said: “Putting more money in people’s pockets is the easiest way to reduce poverty in our communities.

“By helping people claim what they are entitled to, we are freeing them up to look at new opportunities to move their lives on, without the worry of not having enough money to pay bills.

“This has been particularly important for people struggling to cope during the Covid-19 lockdown.”

The majority of work delivered by the team involves appealing benefit decisions made by bodies such as the Department of Work and Pensions, Glasgow City Council and Social Security Scotland.

With the addition of an energy adviser to the team in October, people struggling with their household energy bills can access advice and financial support too.

More than £20,000 was paid to tenants to help with energy costs through the Scottish Government’s Social Housing Fuel Support Fund.

Shona added: “With fuel poverty being a real challenge and climate change action needed by everyone, we were delighted to introduce a new energy advice service to help local people keep their energy costs and emissions down.”

It is expected that the demand for services will increase sharply as lockdown eases and furlough payments stop in September.

Anyone looking for help can make a confidential appointment by calling Queens Cross Housing Association.