Oasis Debt Advice
Oasis Debt Advice was launched at the beginning of 2012 to provide a free support service for local people with unmanageable debt. It was established in response to the large number of referrals our Foodbank was experiencing due to debt. The service is part of Community Money Advice, an umbrella debt advice service, and we are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Since launching the service we have worked with 152 people in total. We currently have 67 active cases, managing £465,850 of client debt. 32 cases started this year. We have accumulated quite a long waiting list in recent years due to high referral numbers that we do not have the capacity to support. We often get referrals from other agencies with long waiting lists as there are not enough debt advice services in the local area.
Our 16 debt advisors are all volunteers. Each volunteer undergoes a two day training programme, followed by a third day after a year of advising. This leads to a Money Advice Service accredited debt advice qualification.
We are seeking funding to provide training for 14 additional volunteers. This would enable us to provide free debt advice to an extra 28 clients per year. More volunteers would also ensure better sustainability for the debt advice service by building a larger more robust debt advice team.