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On Thursday 16th August we held our UC Roadshow in Farnborough Fields, Castle Vale. We might have had a windy start, but the sun soon came out for our family event and everybody had a great time.

With information stands, goody bags, prizes and free food for the adults, while kids had full range of face-painting, boxing, games and even a bouncy castle – there really was something for everyone.

Our UC Roadshow was designed to highlight one of the government’s biggest changes to the welfare system with the introduction of Universal Credit. This new, means-tested, benefit replaces Housing Benefits, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment & Support Allowance, Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits. The change means for those who claim Universal Credit, all funds will be paid directly to them, making them responsible for their own financial arrangements – including paying rent directly to their housing provider.

To offer advice and recommend the measures to take, our UC team were in full swing explaining the changes, how to apply and how to set up a Direct Debit payment to ensure rental accounts don’t fall into arrears.

Over 200 happy visitors attended the bustling event and left with lots of positive information, smiles and these fantastic comments:

 “It was a great family day out. It was really nice to be able to give the kids something so fun to do, while I found out about what local services there are to help me… and it really made it worthwhile because it was all free!”

“Free food, music and firemen? What’s not to like! But in all seriousness, I found the whole event valuable and it’s really useful to know that if I set up a direct debit as soon as the changes take place, there won’t be any nasty surprises for me when Universal Credit takes over.”

“We’ve heard about this Universal Credit change coming but wasn’t really sure what it was. Thankfully, after a great chat with Sylvia, we now understand what it means for us and what to do when it takes affect. We even got a free burger and drink out of it!”

We’d especially like to thank Spitfire Services, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service and Pets as Therapy for coming along and making the day a real hit!