Krystal is a single parent who was referred to the project, which offers 1-2-1 coaching for anyone not currently employed, to help her improve her IT skills. It became apparent that her situation was complicated, with a number of debts and she had also received an eviction notice from her Housing Association. Krystal said ‘I decided to enrol because I had lost my way, with bills, my debt and my life in general.’

In the short term Krystal was issued with food bank vouchers, awarded a CLAS grant (Cambridgeshire Local Assistance Scheme) to pay for a new mattress and a Staywell grant of £200 for her energy bills. She also successfully applied for a LITE tariff for her water and was given an 80% discount. Her coach helped her to negotiate repayments for her priority debts and to attend appointments with Citizens Advice Rural Cambridgeshire. Following debt advice from them, New Horizons was able to pay for her to have a Debt Relief Order put in place.

While her money situation was improving, Krystal was able to borrow a laptop and improve her IT skills in order to find employment opportunities and improve her CV. By bringing together coaching on money, online and work, New Horizons has helped Krystal to turn her life around. She now feels in control of her money and has recently started a job in a local café and has signed a new contract with her Housing Association. As Krystal said: “Amanda would know who to contact and gave me the courage to speak to debtors and sort it. I am now in a supported place where I feel in control and it feels great”.

New Horizons provides 1-2-1 coaching on money, getting online and work for anyone who isn’t currently in employment. It is funded by European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund. It is managed by CHS Group in partnership with Axiom Housing Association, Broadland Housing, Centre 33, Citizens Advice Rural Cambridgeshire, Cross Keys Homes, Norfolk Citizens Advice Bureau and Papworth Trust. The project is being evaluated by the University of Cambridge

For more information, contact New.horizons@chsgroup.org.uk