Helping you manage your money

Our Do$h+ service provides one-to-one support helping customers with managing your money (budgeting, benefits advice) and digital training to help you use online services confidently. 

Here we hear from Robert who contacted the service to get some advice about pension credit reforms.

‘I received a letter from the Communities team asking me to get in touch if I wanted to discuss pension credit reforms. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was about, but it said there a deadline date for checking pension credit eligibility and encouraged me to contact them and speak to a member of the team.

‘I got in touch and explained I had received the letter, but I have trouble getting out because I have a bad foot. I spoke to Deborah who said she would come to see me as a home visit. She’s been to see me two or three times now and during this time, she has helped me a lot. The first visit was just a normal conversation where Deborah got to know a bit more about my situation. She issued me with a Do$h notebook that I use to jot down any important information and make notes about things I need to remember to do and so on.

‘During one of her next visits, Deborah carried out a benefit check to help me find out what I am entitled to. It turns out I wasn’t entitled to the pension credit, but the benefit check Deborah did showed I am entitled to housing benefit and council tax support, which means I don’t have to pay so much rent and council tax each month. Deborah contacted the local council about the tax, and she is going to speak to the income team at Catalyst about adjusting my rent payments, so I don’t have to worry about sorting anything. I am very grateful to Deborah for helping me with this, I now have a little extra cash each month that I otherwise wouldn’t know about.’

‘I have lived in my home with Catalyst for 26 years and have always been very independent. Both my wife and I always worked – my wife was from Malaysia and worked as a nurse throughout her career. I had lots of different jobs, from dairy farming to factory work and then finally for the last 22 years as a cleaning and maintenance man for a local general store. We never needed anything from Catalyst other than the usual repairs and maintenance of our home. My wife died about a year ago, after 45 years of happiness together. We always used to sort out things like bills and rent payments together, so it made me feel good to speak with Deborah and know she was able to help me with things I was unsure about.’

I am very grateful for all the help I have received. I would encourage anyone reading this to contact Catalyst, if they need any help or they receive a letter asking them to get in touch.’

‘My friend Paul, from my local church, came to meet Deborah during one of her visits. They helped me set up an email account so I could apply for the benefit and council tax support. I don’t know about things like computers and email addresses and I don’t think I would have been able to do it without the help from Deborah and my friend.

‘Everything is now in place for me regarding my finances, which is reassuring. I have enjoyed Deborah’s visits, but I know she has other people she needs to help through the Do$h service. She has been trying to encourage me to get involved in other activities and says she will pop in and let me know what is happening in my area. For now, though, I am happy knowing I can get in touch again if I need any other help or support.’

If you have any questions or concerns about managing your money or getting online get in touch with our Do$h Inclusion Service to discuss how they can help you.