A STAGGERING half-a-million pounds of unclaimed benefits has been found for people in Middlesbrough who were unaware of their entitlements.

 

The money was identified during four It’s Your Right To Claim advice surgeries in the town – two in North Ormesby and one each in Middlesbrough House and Middlesbrough College.

 

It’s Your Right To Claim was launched after studies found that

 

Additionally, the campaign is funded by Middlesbrough Public Health and has been able to offer blood pressure and healthy heart checks and to refer local people to the Stop Smoking Service.

 

Middlesbrough Environment City have also been involved with providing information and items such as low energy light bulbs, cold alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and shower save adaptors.

 

Cllr Tracy Harvey, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive lead for welfare reform, said: “It is incredible that in such a short space of time this campaign has been able to find so much money – £500,000 – for people who were simply unaware they were entitled to it.

 

“The additional money that those helped by It’s Your Right to Claim will receive could make all the difference to them and their families.

 

“We have been able to speak to and help people from all walks of life and in doing so we are removing any stigma attached to accessing welfare.

 

“I’d urge anyone who is not clear on what they’re entitled to claim to come along and talk to one of our advisors.”

 

The campaign returns to North Ormesby from Monday, March 16 to Wednesday, March 18. They will be held:

 

  • Monday, March 16, North Ormesby Community Hub, Derwent Street. 10am – 4pm.

 

  • Tuesday, March 17, North Ormesby Community Hub, Derwent Street. 10am – 4pm.

 

  • Wednesday, March 18, North Ormesby Community Hub, Derwent Street. 10am – 2pm.

 

The key partners in the delivery of the campaign are Middlesbrough Public Health, Middlesbrough Citizens Advice Bureau, Cleveland Housing & Advice Centre, Middlesbrough Council’s Welfare Rights Department, Middlesbrough Council/Partnership and Actes (Achieving Change through Enterprising Solutions).