The Addiewell Money Advice Project (AMAP) is a Lanarkshire-wide project aimed at helping prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families. The project covers the full breadth of CAB advice areas – welfare rights, debt, housing, employment, relationship and consumer issues. The project operates across Lanarkshire, in partnership with Rutherglen CAB, Airdrie CAB and lead bureau Motherwell and Wishaw CAB. We work closely with ‘Families Outside’ at HMP Addiewell, prison staff and other in- prison agencies, such as alcohol and addiction services.

We offer a combination of office-based appointments, home visits, telephone and email advice as well as outreach sessions at the Families Outside Visitor Centre. We also deliver advice sessions directly to prisoners from within the prison’s LIBRITE centre.

How we helped Jim
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Client names have been changed to protect their identity.

At an outreach session at HMP Addiewell I met with Jim who was due for release in 2 months time. The gentleman had served 12 months.  His imprisonment had resulted in him splitting up with his partner, they had been living together but the property was hers and he was concerned as he would be homeless when released.

Jim had been claiming ESA prior to being imprisoned. He stated his physical condition had deteriorated badly while in prison and he was concerned he could not manage to set up home and care for himself or afford to live on his modest benefit income.  The only family he has is an adult daughter who would assist him but her time was limited as she had to work to support herself.

We contacted the housing department and through the latter stages of his imprisonment and then his release arranged for suitable accommodation in his daughters home town.

We checked the criteria for PIP and it was agreed the bureau would assist with an application on his release. Jim was subsequently awarded this and stated with the extra income he could live modestly but comfortably.  As PIP was a qualifying benefit his daughter was able to resign from her part time job and with the Bureau’s assistance claim Carers Allowance for looking after her father.