Bute Advice Centre teams up with ACHA on welfare

Bute Advice Centre's premises are on the first floor of the Royal Mail sorting office building in Rothesay's Bishop Street.
Bute Advice Centre's premises are on the first floor of the Royal Mail sorting office building in Rothesay's Bishop Street.

Bute Advice Centre has teamed up with Argyll Community Housing Association to ensure that the social landlord’s tenants in the Bute and Cowal area can continue to receive welfare advice.

With the help of lottery funding, the centre - based at Bishop Street in the centre of Rothesay - stepped into the breach when ACHA required a new welfare rights officer.

Two members of the centre’s staff, Kevin Bye and Alma Mackaill, will split their time between benefits advice and welfare rights and are eager to help those who fall foul of what is a very complex system.

Tenants can contact their local ACHA office for a referral or can contact Kevin and Alma directly on 01700 502784.

Alastair MacGregor, chief executive of ACHA, said: “It is vital that tenants get the right advice when it comes to benefits. Clearly this helps those claiming but it also has a wider impact on the community and for us as a housing provider.

“This is a great opportunity for us to work to support the Bute Advice Centre and we want to thank them and the Big Lottery Funding for their hard work in making this possible.”

Meanwhile, ACHA has also launched a new text message service enabling tenants to get access to information on their rent account at the touch of a button via their mobile phones.

The service enables tenants to find out the balance on their account and request a call back from the association’s Customer Service Centre if required. All tenants with a mobile phone are eligible for the service and a welcome message has already been sent out to more than three thousand tenants who have a mobile number registered with the Association.

Vivienne Kerr, IT Manager for the association said: “We want to give our tenants the widest choice possible when it comes to communication with us. We have already developed our website to allow tenants to report repairs and make payments and in an age where mobile communication is increasing rapidly, this system ensures we continue to provide tenants with up to date, useful information quickly and easily.”