SUPPORT is being offered to cash-strapped Renfrewshire residents who fear they will fall into debt.

There are concerns that many local people are struggling financially as a result of the current energy crisis, the ongoing Covid pandemic and Christmas spending.

Councillor John Shaw, Renfrewshire’s finance convener, said it is important to reach out for support as early as possible.

He told The Gazette: “Christmas can be a stressful time of the year. Most of us feel the same pressure to spend money on presents, food and celebrating with loved ones.

“Add on the energy crisis, with rising energy costs and people being moved to other suppliers, as well as the continued pandemic, and it is easy to feel that money is slipping out of your fingers.

“There is help available and I urge anyone who is struggling with money now, or thinks they will be in the near future, to get in touch with our advice works or energy advocacy team.

“Our advisers can help you find the right support for you. If you are worried about your money, how you will pay bills or what you can do about changing energy supplier, please get in touch. We are here to help you.”

One of the services on offer is Advice Works – a free, confidential and independent service funded by Renfrewshire Council that provides financial advice to residents.

Lynne Kerr, who has worked at Advice Works for 20 years, said: “If you’ve found yourself struggling to pay bills this winter, seek advice as soon as you can.

“Agencies like Advice Works and Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau can help with budgeting and arranging payment plans and can offer help to deal with problem debts.

“There’s no stigma attached to seeking help with money and debt, no matter your circumstances. Please don’t be afraid to come forward, as our service is confidential and our advisers won’t judge.”

If you are concerned about managing your money this winter or are looking for advice around any additional benefits you may be entitled to, get in touch with Advice Works on 0300 300 1238 for immediate advice or to arrange an appointment.

To contact the energy advice and advocacy team, call 0300 300 0300 or send an email to