Supporting our Customers with their financial stability
22 May 2023
We know that everyone is feeling the pressure of the increase in Cost of Living, and it can be very overwhelming to understand how you can cut back – especially if the majority of your earnings go to essential costs and household bills.
In our recent report on digital exclusion and its impact on Communities with the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, it was highlighted how the cost of living crisis has exacerbated existing digital exclusion challenges. At Places for People, we believe that everyone should have access to the resources they need to improve their quality of life.
That’s why, we are proud to have partnered with @Pocket Power to support our Customers and colleagues to help empower them to make effective choices that will support their finances and their overall wellbeing.
What is Pocket Power?
Pocket Power is a Social Enterprise on a mission to put money back in people’s pockets. They provide a free phone-based service to help People switch to cheaper deals, apply for discounts for their household bills, and support them with the current Cost of Living crisis.
Every month, there are over 5 million People in the UK who have only £10 left over after paying all their essential costs. That’s 1 in 10 People in our society who are struggling to make ends meet.
Additionally, People on lower incomes spend around a quarter of their monthly earnings on household bills such as energy, water, broadband, and council tax. Despite this, only 1 in 5 of us has switched energy suppliers in the last 12 months.
We know it can be overwhelming with the number of different providers, deals, and offers on the market, and we don’t always have the time to sit down and understand what the best option is for us. So, it is understandable that many, particularly those from low income households, struggle to make ends meet and can fall into debt.
That’s where Pocket Power steps in.
Pocket Power is designed to help People who need support the most to save on their bills and gain greater financial security. Plus, as it is a phone service, it is helpful for those who aren’t digitally active and are unable to use web-based switching services.
Supporting our Customers
Since partnering with Pocket Power in 2021, we have helped over 379 Customers switch to cheaper deals and apply for discounts on their household bills saving them a total of £30,268 which goes straight back into the Customer's pocket.
Knowing that the key barriers to switching providers or looking for cheaper alternatives are often due to internet access, time constraints, and overall confusion due to the jargon that is used, we have kept our partnership with Pocket Power as simple as possible.
Our Customers and colleagues can be referred to Pocket Power following a free 30–60-minute phone call, where a member from the Pocket Power team will help individuals understand their options, explains any jargon or technical terms, and help them apply and access the best discounts for them.
The 1-2-1 support has shown to be a significant benefit to our Customers to help facilitate switching providers and has assisted with additional help topics such as supporting income maximisation, hardship grants, reducing insurance fees, and more.
One of our Customers, Graham, recently benefitted from Pocket Power’s service. Graham is retired and lives alone, so his landline is important for keeping in touch with family and friends. However, with his existing provider, Graham was paying per minute and was keeping his phone calls short or even holding off from ringing people to keep costs downs, resulting in him feeling isolated.
That was until he was referred to Pocket Power, who helped him switch to a different provider for the same price but with unlimited calls from his landline! They also helped Graham access some discounts, meaning in total he saved £432. But more importantly, he can also now get in touch with the People that matter to him for as long and as often as he wants!
Gaining greater financial stability
Since launching our partnership, Pocket Power has dedicated over 6,272 minutes of 1-2-1 support to our Customers. Helping them understand the best options for their lifestyle and cutting costs where possible.
Over half of the People that have been supported through our partnership were out of work and 23% were living with a disability in terms of illness, so this service is crucial in supporting these individuals to gain greater financial stability and improve their quality of life.
Asking for support
Pocket Power is open to both our Customers and Places for People colleagues. So if you are, or know someone, who is worried about their financial situation, it’s important to get in touch so we can help and provide support based on their circumstances. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch or visit our Cost of Living support page for useful information to help you during these challenging times.
Get help and support from Places for People Money Advice Team