Welfare support charity gets cash boost to enable online services for instant financial advice

A charity offering welfare support in Barking and Dagenham has received a £125,000 grant for a programme helping people in poverty to access expert advice to resolve their financial troubles.

The City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, has given £125,353, to DABD to fund its “New Solutions” programme.

The programme will introduce an online benefits advice service, enabling advisers at DABD to provide instant responses to client queries, saving vital time for people in challenging financial situations.

It will also introduce community based surgeries and a home visiting service for older and less mobile residents without access to online services or the charity’s existing walk-in support centre.

The project will support 360 disadvantaged people experiencing financial issues over the three years and potentially hundreds more via the new DABD Online service.

The charity has offered welfare benefits services for over 20 years and has long-standing experience of working with individuals and communities across London.

Research shows that in Barking and Dagenham older, disabled and excluded people are experiencing disadvantage leading to poverty and financial crises. The borough is also the 15th most deprived in the country.

Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust committee, said:

“This grant will help the charity to reach people who are currently unable to access their services, meaning the most vulnerable are getting the financial advice and support they need to improve their economic circumstances.

“The programme will equip more people to manage their debts and teach new skills on how to manage their finances. It is providing life changing support.

“City Bridge Trust is committed to tackling disadvantage across the capital and making London a fairer and better place to live.”

Elaine James, Chief Executive of DABD, added:

The grant from City Bridge Trust enables us to deliver support to the most vulnerable residents in Barking and Dagenham. This new service will ensure that DABD can respond to the local “Digital by Design” Strategy.

“Welfare reforms are affecting Barking and Dagenham residents as we have identified a high dependence on benefits in our area. The roll-out of the new Universal Credit, which started in 2016, will continue to have an impact on local people and we expect that this will generate many benefit queries.

“However we cannot leave out our customers who may be older or less mobile and may not be able to access services on-line, so, through the grant, we are also able to offer a home-visiting service where we can visit clients in their homes.”

City Bridge Trust is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital. The Trust has awarded around 7,500 grants totalling over £360 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.



Media Enquiries

Kristina Drake

Media Officer, City of London Corporation

07710860884 / 020 7332 1125