A NEW initiative that is challenging poverty across North Ayrshire has saved residents £1,057,855.

Better Off North Ayrshire was launched in March 2017 to offer financial support to help residents make the most of their money.

More than 1,000 local people have engaged and registered with ‘Better Off North Ayrshire’ which the council says has saved each person on average £1,000 per year.

The team has helped people maximis e thei r income, helped them access energy grants and worked out ways to write off debts.

They have also enabled many to make energy-efficiency savings, while others have been able to clear high cost debts.

This was announced by the council leader at Blacklands Primarylast week as part of Challenge Poverty Week.

NAC leader Cllr Joe Cullinane, said: “This is absolutely incr edible and a huge congratulations to the whole team for the way they have embraced the challenge of helping local people save money.

“Poverty is an issue that affects too many people in our area. The Better Off North Ayrshire team was set up to make a tangible difference a nd t he y a r e c l ear l y delivering.”

North Ayrshire Council was selected as one of five areas in Scotland to receive funding from the Big Lottery and the European Social F u n d t o d e l i v e r t h e programme and launched the scheme in March 2017. Better Off helps North Ayrshire residents aged 16-plus, who are lone parents, or living in low income or nonworking households. Partners include Community Housing Advocacy Project, ANCHO Housing Association, Cunninghame H o usin g A s s o c i a ti o n , Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company and 1st Alliance Credit Union. To find out more, call 01294 475 629, email betteroffna.chap@ gmail.com or visit northayrshire.betteroff.org.uk