HUNDREDS turned out at an event aimed a helping people cope with benefit changes. More than 650 people attended the information day at Fairfield Halls. Croydon is one of only four places in the country to be trialling a controversial benefits cap which will be rolled out across the rest of the country this summer. Couples and single parents will now receive no more than £500 a week, while single people will be limited to £350. The changes came into effect last Monday. The council-organised info advice day, held last Friday, offered support for people looking for work or training, and provided information on childcare, managing debt and housing. There were also interactive workshops on topics including shopping for health food on a budget. The council said that one of the most popular stalls was the property swap stand, which aimed to help people downsize to a smaller home. The event was supported by Croydon Voluntary Action, Citizens Advice Bureau, Jobcentre Plus, Mind in Croydon, Croydon Young and Single Homeless (CAYSH), ASDA and the South West London Law Centre. It is estimated that around 900 families in Croydon were affected when the Government capped benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance, income support, child and housing benefit. Sarah Bashford, cabinet member for corporate and voluntary services, said: "We held this event to offer help to people who are affected by the benefit changes. "We were delighted by the large number that turned out and hope they found it useful. "The feedback we received from those who attended has been extremely positive." The council plans to hold a similar event later this year.
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