Financial help available for former mine workers

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FORMER miners in County Durham have the chance to get help with their finances.

The Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO) is a national charity which focuses on delivering community and personal welfare services within mining and former mining communities.

In 2013 the organisation’s North East branch began its Improving Lives Campaign pilot scheme, aimed at increasing awareness of its work.

Every former mineworker getting a pension from the Mineworkers Pension Scheme (MPS) should have received a letter telling them of the help available and inviting them to get in touch. In the first ten months of the scheme, CISWO has helped almost 500 ex-mineworkers and/or their families. Over 1,300 visits have been made to peoples’ homes to provide a range of services, including help with benefit applications, bereavement support and advice on disabilities and mining-related illnesses.

In this period over £377,000 of extra money has been paid to people through benefit claims and a further £6,000 has been awarded by CISWO in grant aid to alleviate some of the difficulties people are experiencing.

For more information, any miners living in the Durham coalfield area can telephone 0191 4777242.