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Debt BUS-ter & 24 hour hotline launch

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Debt Free London goes on tour with mobile bus ‘Debt BUS-ter’ to help Londoners with money worries and re-launches their 24-hour helpline to assist people with the cost-of-living crisis and post-christmas debt.

Debt Free London has created a mobile centre in the form of a touring bus. Having already helped over 250,000 people with free debt advice, the ‘Debt BUS-ter’ will tour across London, with the aim of reaching and assisting Londoners in need and will visit some of London’s most deprived areas.

The ‘Debt BUS-ters’ tour starts on Tuesday 22nd February in General Gordon Square, Woolwich, London and culminates on Thursday 31st March with stop offs that include Sutton, Southwark and Notting Hill. Supporting the initiative is TV presenter and co-host of The Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV, Angellica Bell. The bus will serve as an in-person advice centre where Debt Free London’s expert advisors will be on-hand to offer free, confidential, expert advice to anyone who needs assistance or help with any topic around debt.

The spiralling cost of living is having a huge impact on Londoners, and with bills set to rise further in the coming weeks, this burden is going to become even greater for some of the most vulnerable people in our city. That’s why I’m funding Debt Free London to ensure that anyone struggling can get free advice at any time. This service has already helped tens of thousands of Londoners to better manage their debt and will be invaluable as living costs continue to rise.

Sadiq Khan | Mayor of London

I’m really pleased to be supporting Debt Free London with this initiative and think it’s amazing that the bus will be visiting some of London's poorest areas, offering people assistance and advice. The conversation around money and debt needs to be much more open to allow people to have the confidence to come forward and ask for help. It's also necessary that people feel that there are solutions too which can be given confidentially and for free.

Angellica Bell | TV Presenter & Debt Free London Ambassador

In addition to their ‘Debt BUS-ter’ tour, Debt Free London will also be re-launching their free 24-hour helpline from Tuesday 22nd February to 22nd May to support Londoners in need. The 24-hour advice line is an extension to their regular debt line service, which is always available via phone, video call, WhatsApp message and live web chat. Debt Free London’s first successful 24-hour advice line launched for three months in January 2021 and helped over 1,000 families within the extended times.

Their round-the-clock advisors along with their ‘Debt BUS-ter’ tour will ensure Debt Free London’s services are accessible to everyone struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and debt post-Christmas. Their extended phone line hours and mobile centre come in response to the UK’s debt crisis which sees 1 in 4 UK adults at financial risk* and to help those suffering with a money worry or problem debt, especially at this time of year with the reality of their December credit card bills and rising living costs.

It’s not surprising to see so many people struggling financially at the moment. It’s almost a perfect storm for debt, with the cost-of-living crisis people are understandably finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with their bills and outgoings. Many people are still overcoming the financial strains the COVID-pandemic created and that’s in addition to this time of year, post-Christmas, being a difficult time financially for many people, even under normal circumstances.

We want to help as many people as we can who need our support. By taking our mobile centre into the community and by extending our helpline hours we are more accessible to people who might otherwise struggle to contact or visit us, especially those who work multiple jobs, shift work or have childcare responsibilities. Confidential advice will be available to anyone who reaches out.

Matt Dronfield | Head of Debt Free London

National research highlights that prior to the pandemic only 3% of people were falling behind with credit payments. Since March 2020 one in three people (34%) have needed to use some form of debt to get by and more than one in ten people (12%) have resorted to missing a bill or debt repayment.

For more information on Debt Free London and the ‘Debt BUS-ter’ locations visit www.debtfree.london/bus

Call Debt Free London’s 24-hour advice line on: 0800 808 5700