MSP visits Stepping Stones in Carrick

From left to right Jeane Freeman MSP, back left Nikki Pitt, Money Advice Officer, front left Michaela Copland, Administrative Assistant, back right, Carol Saunders, Money Advice Worker and front right, Shona McKellar, Family Support Worker.
From left to right Jeane Freeman MSP, back left Nikki Pitt, Money Advice Officer, front left Michaela Copland, Administrative Assistant, back right, Carol Saunders, Money Advice Worker and front right, Shona McKellar, Family Support Worker.

Isobel Lawson, Chief Executive of Stepping Stones for Families, recently welcomed Jeane Freeman MSP to their Carrick Money Advice Service, to discuss the vital anti-poverty work of the charity and to meet some of the local people who have been using the project in Carrick.

Pictured is Jeane freeman MSP with staff from the project. From left to right Jeane Freeman MSP, back left Nikki Pitt, Money Advice Officer, front left Michaela Copland, Administrative Assistant, back right, Carol Saunders, Money Advice Worker and front right, Shona McKellar, Family Support Worker.

Stepping Stones for Families provides the only locally based money advice service for families living in the rural communities of North and South Carrick.

This is a bespoke service for families with young children and young people up to age 24. Over the past year the Money Advice Service has responded to 269 referrals; achieved an annual equivalent of £819,948 increase in income for families and re-negotiated £57,390 of debt for 41 families.

Isobel Lawson said; “We were pleased to welcome Jeane Freeman MSP to our service and to have the chance to explore with her some of the issues that the people using our project face daily. We are grateful to Comic Relief and the William Grant Youth Opportunities Fund administered by Foundation Scotland, for funding this vital project.”

Nikki Pitt, Money Advice Officer at the project, said; “I hope this visit will raise the profile of the challenges faced by families living in rural communities, and the importance of sustaining the work of the Carrick Money Advice Service. Families have told us that the extra money we have been able to help them access has, for example, made the difference between buying only the cheapest non-branded food and buying more nutritious but dearer meals for their families”

Jeane Freeman MSP said; “Once again, I am inspired by the third sector in Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley making a real difference to people living in poverty. While the UK Government cuts support to the poorest, the work of projects like The Carrick Money Advice Service becomes ever more important.”