A bright orange bus tackling Londoners’ debt arrived in Islington on Friday (4 March).
The touring ‘debt bus-ter’ provided free and confidential financial advice for residents struggling with the cost of living crisis at Brickwork Community Center.
The bus will finish its tour at St. Pancras and Somers Town on 31 March.
Since March 2020, one in three people have needed to use some form of debt to get by and more than one in ten people have resorted to missing a bill or debt repayment.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said, “The spiralling cost of living is having a huge impact on Londoners, and with bills set to rise further in the coming weeks, this burden is going to become even greater for some of the most vulnerable people in our city. ”
He voiced his support for the bus tour: “That’s why I’m funding Debt Free London to ensure that anyone struggling can get free advice at any time. ”
“Sadly, the growing need for this service highlights the significant size of the national problem we are facing. I will continue to do all I can to support Londoners, but we need the Government to step forward with urgent measures to help people through this crisis. ”
The crisis may worsen due to the Ukraine conflict with predictions of ‘dystopian’ effects as prices of heating, petrol and weight could soar.
Angellica Bell, TV presenter and co-host of The Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV, launched the ‘Debt BUS-ter’ tour in Woolwich. She said, “The conversation around money and debt needs to be much more open to allow people to have the confidence to come forward and ask for help. It’s also necessary that people feel that there are solutions too which can be given confidentially and for free. ”
Debt Free London also re-launched their 24-hour helpline, which will run until 22 May if you missed the bus. The organization has helped over 250,000 people with free financial advice, always available via phone, video call, WhatsApp message and live web chat.
You can call Debt Free London’s 24-hour advice line on 0800 808 5700.
For more information on Debt Free London and the ‘Debt BUS-ter’ locations visit www.debtfree.london/bus