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We're working with Maidstone Citizens Advice and NatWest to help some of our older residents steer clear of the con merchants and cope with the financial pressures we all face at Christmas.

financial wellbeing"Christmas is an expensive time for everyone, but for those on a limited income it can prove particularly challenging," explained Mark Faithful, West Kent’s Financial Wellbeing Manager.

"That's why we have put together a series of free workshops that will be held in our sheltered schemes and Emerald hubs between now and mid-December to give people advice on keeping the costs down and avoiding scams."

The financial advice sessions are being led by Maidstone Citizens Advice and supported by cash from NatWest's Skills and Opportunities Fund. The first session was held at Queens Court, Edenbridge, where the charity's Ian Park talked about online price comparison sites, loyalty cards, savings clubs and much more, before offering the residents ten tips on how to save money.

As well as funding the sessions, NatWest is taking an active part. Community banker Clare Oldfield followed Ian's talk with a wealth of advice on how not to become the victim of a scam.

Mark said the initiative aimed to support as many elderly people as possible in the run up to Christmas as part of West Kent's bid to support communities across Kent.

Future sessions are planned for:

  • Bonney Court, Swanley - 21 November, 10am
  • Wellfield, Hartley - 22 November 10am
  • Fountain Court, Dartford - 27 November, 2pm
  • Montgomery Road, South Darenth - 30 November, 10am
  • Lilac Gardens, Swanley - 5 December, 2pm
  • Hamlyn Court, Dunton Green - 7 December, 10.30am
  • Panters, Hextable - 11 December, 10am
  • Garden Court, Sevenoaks - 12 December, 2pm.

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