As the number of people becoming homeless in the UK increases steadily, families are being reminded of the importance of setting aside some money as a precaution for unexpected events.

Shelter’s Chief Executive Campbell Robb said, “We know from the people we see every day that just one single thing, like a bout of illness, rent increase or drop in income, is all that’s needed to push someone into spiral of debt and arrears that can lead to the loss of their home.”

Homeless Link, a charity that represents and supports organisations working with homeless people in the UK, recognises that homelessness can affect anyone and has identified “getting into debt, specifically mortgage or rent arrears” as one of the key triggers. Coastal Credit Union offers financial support, advice and a practical saving scheme for its members to use in order to avoid these circumstances from happening. It also provides access to low interest loans to people who have been saving regularly and may be looking to pay off an anticipated bill like car insurance or a home repair.

By saving with Coastal Credit Union and seeking guidance on budgeting, unforeseeable events such as redundancy or a loss of housing benefit in the coming year can be more easily coped with. If such events never happen then some of the surplus money set aside in a Coastal Credit Union Savings Account could even be put towards an indulgent treat – namely the Marks & Spencer’s Food on the Move range, which contributes 5% of its sales to Shelter.

As charities such as Shelter and Homeless Link suffer under the government’s cuts to housing benefit and funding at the same time that people are becoming more reliant on these services due to rises in unemployment, it’s more important than ever before for families, couples and individuals to act now and start saving. Coastal Credit Union operates across the BH postcode (from Fordingbridge and Ringwood through to Poole and the Purbecks) and has local branches in Bournemouth, Wimborne, Kinson, Swanage, Poole and Christchurch. The main branch in Bournemouth can be contacted on 01202 566878 and more information and a comprehensive list of contact numbers is available at