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Sally Buchanan is Fairer Falkirk's Senior Coordinator, working to mitigate the impact poverty has on individuals, families and communities in our area.

Challenge Poverty Week is a chance for all of us to say we believe in a fairer Falkirk. 

Shockingly, almost a quarter of children in the Falkirk area are living in poverty.

We need to challenge the stereotypes, attitudes and judgements that make things worse for people living in poverty. It is not for any of us to judge why someone is in poverty. 

Falkirk Council’s role is to support people to reduce the impact of poverty on their life, and support them to change their circumstances for the better.

Challenging poverty shouldn’t just be seven days of the year. But we’re using Challenge Poverty Week to let people know where to get help in Falkirk – whether that’s employability support, help with managing debt, or making sure you’re getting benefits you’re entitled to.

Get what you’re entitled to

In Falkirk alone, benefits of almost £36million go unclaimed every year. That is money that people in the area are entitled to. 

Benefits like working tax credits, child tax credits, pension credit, housing benefit, income support are all there for the people who need them – and yet ational figures show only 6 out of 10 people entitled to pension credit actually claim it.

It’s worth checking what you’re entitled to regularly using our Entitlement Calculator – as your circumstances change, you may be entitled to more money.

Get advice

Falkirk Council’s Debt Advice Team can give you free help and advice on all types of debt including rent and mortgage arrears, council tax, personal loans, hire purchase agreements, credit cards, store cards, payday loans, catalogues and fuel bills.

That includes:

  • personal budgeting support
  • dealing with your debts
  • review the money you have coming in and going out
  • understand what the people you owe money to, known as creditors, can and can't do to recover it

Advice is free, confidential and impartial and is available to anyone who lives or works in the Falkirk Council area.

If you have a question about money or debt, or want to know more about how money advice can help you, speak to our team.

You can also get advice from independent organisations such as Falkirk's Citizens Advice Bureau.

Reducing costs

Reducing your costs can help make your money go further. One area where we can help is with the costs of period products. No-one should have to go without these basic essentials, so we’re stocking public buildings with free products.

Find out where products are available on the Our Falkirk map.

Free period products in a Falkirk public building

Period products are free to anyone who needs them

You can also order free period products online – you’ll get a 3 month supply of disposable products and they will be sent directly to the address you put on the order form.

Employment and training

If you’re struggling to find employment, our Employment & Training Unit can help. Every year we help local people find a job or training opportunity to find work or progress their careers.

Our ETU provides its services to all ages, whether leaving school, returning to work or changing careers; we are here to help. 

The service is person-centred and needs-led, meaning we work with you to support you into employment in a way that works for you.

How do I know what support is available?

The Our Falkirk map shows locations of Falkirk Council support services local to your area, including WiFi access and advice hubs, as well as community food banks.

The map also shows where you can find community organisations who can help people in need.

I don’t consider myself to be in poverty. What can I do to help?

Challenging poverty is everyone’s responsibility. 

If you know someone who is struggling financially, encourage them to seek help without casting judgement.

There is help out there for people – so let’s make sure we get it to them.

Sally Buchanan

Fairer Falkirk Senior Coordinator