The Money Advice Service (MAS) is responsible for the coordination of debt advice funding across the UK and has a statutory duty to improve the quality, consistency and availability of debt advice. In 2013-14 MAS funded 163,000 debt advice sessions in England and Wales. MAS also co-funds debt advice in Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Government, which in the last financial year led to more than 11,000 people receiving advice.
MAS research shows that 4% of the clients of its funded services are carers. Research also suggests that advice over the phone can be particularly useful for carers and MAS has expanded its funded services to enable them to provide advice in this way. Carers are also able to access free debt advice over the phone from National Debtline and StepChange Debt Charity.
In Glasgow, there are two targeted projects which meet carers’ specific needs. These are:
Yorkhill Families Money and Debt Advice Support Project: Yorkhill hospital and Glasgow Central Citizens Advice Bureau together provide advice to families who are financially vulnerable because of their children’s long-term health condition; and
Glasgow Association for Mental Health Money and Debt Project, which provides free face-to-face advice debt advice to people with mental health problems across Glasgow and their carers.