A TOTAL of 424 people in Ealing have accessed the Government’s new Breathing Space scheme since it launched in May 2021, according to official figures.

National Debtline – which is one of the free debt advice charities able to register people eligible for Breathing Space – is urging others to seek advice. 

Breathing Space – also known as the Debt Respite Scheme – gives eligible people who contact services like National Debtline the time to seek advice and start to find a safe route out of debt without the worry of enforcement.

The scheme was launched in 2021 and provides up to 60 days’ protection. It pauses any additional charges or interest for that period.  

In the last year, National Debtline has helped 637 people in Ealing tackle their debts, including through the new Breathing Space scheme. 

To mark Talk Money Week, the service is urging Ealing residents who are worried about their finances to contact their debt advisers for free. 

Nine in 10 National Debtline callers report that their debts reduce or stabilise – and seven in 10 see a positive impact on their emotional and mental wellbeing. 

David Cheadle, acting chief executive of National Debtline’s parent charity, the Money Advice Trust, said:  “We know there are many more people struggling alone – and no one should have to do that. 

“Our advisers are here to help and can see if you are eligible for the Breathing Space scheme, to give you the time and headspace you need to make a plan.

“Everyone’s situation is different, and even if you aren’t eligible for this particular scheme our expert advisers can help find the best option for you.”

Ealing residents can speak to a National Debtline adviser for free over the phone on 0808 808 4000, or get advice online at www.nationaldebtline.org