Melville tenants £700k better off thanks to award-winning welfare service



(from left) Melville’s chief operating officer Morag MacDonald, welfare benefits advisers Andrew Collinge and Jacque Mather, and housing services manger Sean Dickson
(from left) Melville’s chief operating officer Morag MacDonald, welfare benefits advisers Andrew Collinge and Jacque Mather, and housing services manger Sean Dickson

Tenants of Melville Housing Association are better off to the tune of nearly £700,000 thanks to the hard work of an award-winning Welfare Benefits Advice service.

During the past financial year the landlord’s two dedicated welfare benefits advisers have helped 113 tenants access nearly £6,000 each (on average) while at the same time picking up a prestigious national award from the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV).

The Melville team, made up of highly experienced advisers Jacquie Mather and Andrew Collinge, helps tenants claim the benefits to which they are entitled, supports those appealing incorrect decisions as well as providing digital skills training and money-saving workshops.

“Our welfare advisers do an invaluable job, and it’s fantastic to see the real improvement they’re making to people’s lives,” said Melville’s chief operating officer, Morag MacDonald. “The support provided, and the outcomes of that support, can extend well beyond the purely financial with service users reporting improvements to their general health and well-being once their financial worries ease.”

“With recent cuts to the welfare system our benefits advisers have never been busier and as Universal Credit continues to roll out across Scotland, we only expect to see an increase in the demand for these services over the coming months and years.”

With demand at an all-time high, the success of the service has been recognised with the ‘Benefits team of the year’ award at the 2016 IRRV awards, beating off stiff competition from much larger organisations from across the UK. The Melville team also has Scottish National Standards for Welfare Benefits Advice accreditation, guaranteeing quality levels.

Melville tenants who need Welfare Benefits advice, or help from Melville’s dedicated Money Advice Service, should phone 0131 654 2733 and speak to the housing section. Help is also available from independent organisations such as Citizen’s Advice.



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