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Closure of Magherafelt Advice Services

It is with regret that we are writing to inform you of the closure of Magherafelt Advice Services. This was an incredibly difficult decision for everyone involved but due to lack of funding, it was a decision that was unavoidable. The closure date for the organisation is set for the 31st December 2016.

Magherafelt Advice Service began in October 2008 and throughout the years we have provided advice, support and representation for thousands of individuals and their families, helping to over £21 million back into the local community.

It has always been our vision to provide free, confidential, impartial advice to all sectors of the community, prevent social and rural exclusion, improve health, offer varied and wider solutions, tackle poverty, assist in financial planning/budgeting, all of which has helped to empower the residents of the local community in their choices.

The Management, Staff and Volunteers of Magherafelt District Advice Services would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the Community for their continued help through funding, advice, support. We would also like to thank those specialist organisations with which we are affiliated.
To all we are grateful.

I kindly ask you to please raise any issues/enquiries directly to the main office on:

Kind Regards,
Management Committee of Magherafelt Advice Service

Getting a TV Licence

You need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

This could be on any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder. If you do any of the above without a valid licence, you risk prosecution and a maximum penalty of up to £1,000, plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay. You will also still have to buy a TV Licence if you need one. To find out more, go to tvlicensing.co.uk/info

How can I buy a TV Licence?

There are lots of different ways to buy a TV Licence. Whether that’s through weekly cash payments, using your nearest PayPoint outlet, spreading the cost with monthly, quarterly or yearly direct debit, credit/debit card or by post – just choose the one that suits you best. For more information on the ways to pay, go to tvlicensing.co.uk/payinfo

Could I get a concession?

Are you, or is someone you live with:

What if I don’t need a licence?

If you don’t need a TV Licence, you still need to let TV Licensing know.

Happy Holidays

The Team at Magherafelt District Advice Services wish to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and peaceful holiday.

Our offices will close at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday 22nd December 2015 and re-open at 9:00 a.m. on Monday 4th January 2016.

Should you have an urgent debt issue you may wish to contact the

Debt Action NI, Free phone helpline on 0800 917 4607, or log onto their website www.debtaction-ni.net where you can access a range of fact sheets and budgeting tools.

Advice NI AGM

On Friday 11th of December our Manger Marie attended Advice NI’s AGM in Belfast were representatives of the advice sector and MLAs from across Northern Ireland attended.

One of the main topics of discussion was Welfare Reform and the impact it will have on the vulnerable within Northern Ireland. While attending Marie was interviewed by NVTV for their community news Focal Point and gave her view on the implementation of cuts to the welfare system and how this would affect local communities and advice providers.

MDAS AGM 2014/15

We would ask everyone that uses or knows of our service to feel free to attend our AGM, we look forward to seeing you all there.

Technical Fault

Our Phone network is experiencing technical problems at present and we are working to restore the service. Due to this you will not be able to get advice through phone until the fault is resolved. We apologise for the inconvenience.

You can still reach us via our contact form on the website or by emailing us to

Many thanks


Update 30/09: The fault in our phone lines has been resolved, advice can now be received via telephone again. Please feel free to contact us on 028 79300 444

Why not ‘spring clean’ your finances?

New money advice events for Housing Executive tenants

Advice NI and Magherafelt Advice Service are joining forces to help support people who are struggling to pay their bills, giving them a fresh start with their finances. The event will take place in the Bridewell Centre, Magherafelt, on Monday 2 March.

From 10am to 1pm advisers will be there to help people make sure they are getting all the financial help they are entitled to and provide advice on how to manage that money.

Last year Advice NI’s advisers successfully helped over 5,000 households making sure theymaximised their household’s income.  Advisers checked eligibility for benefits, helped with budgeting and offered free confidential and impartial debt and money advice.

Sinéad Campbell, from Advice NI, is pleased the clinic is taking place in partnership with the Housing Executive and Magherafelt Advice Services.  She explained:


Many people can find paying all their bills a struggle. Getting advice can help to relieve stress and that’s why we are offering this confidential advice clinic in Magherafelt.  If anyone is finding it difficult to manage their money and wants support, we’re here to help.


“The advisers will chat about any money worries, look at the whole situation and advise on the options available.  For example if they find a number of people are owed money the advisers can help negotiate with creditors.


“If you want to take action to deal with your money problems, and find a solution that suits you then do come along to the Bridewell Centre.”   


Gerry Flynn, Housing Executive Director of Landlord Services commented:


“We know many of our tenants are struggling financially which can leave them feeling stressed.  We want to make sure they get the help and advice they need. 


“We are delighted to work with Advice NI whose professional advisers provide good quality advice and support.  They will aim to help those who contact them feel less stressed about their situation.”


It can be hard to face rent arrears, credit card debt, bank loans, store cards, payday loans or door step lenders on your own. If you are not able to attend the event but would like to talk to an adviser about your finances you can contact Advice NI’s, money and debt service, Debt Action NI on 0800 917 4607, text ‘Action’ on 81025 or browse the website www.debtaction-ni.net to download self-help information or send an appointment request.

Leading debt charity warns credit card users to seek advice when bills land in January


Leading debt charity warns credit card users to seek advice when bills land in January

Advice NI’s Debt service, Debt Action NI has said it is deeply worried about the level of credit card debt being accrued across Northern Ireland, and advised people to seek help to get their debt under control.  The service has helped over 4,000 people who are struggling with credit card debt, which is an average debt of nearly £7,800 per client, and dealt with £32.2 million of credit card debt in Northern Ireland since August 2012.

Gemma Willis, Debt Action NI project manager said:

“As December’s credit card bills hit the letterboxes at the end of January, the reality hits that many people will have overspent on their credit card over the festive period and will struggle to meet their minimum payments.  Typically credit cards have relatively high interest rates, often in excess of 17% APR, so if they are not paid in full each month interest and charges can quickly spiral out of control.”

She added,

 “We see clients throughout the year who are using credit cards to pay for essentials such as fuel, food and childcare.  Worryingly, we also see people who are still dealing with debts from last Christmas.  Credit card debt is consistently in the top 3 debts which we deal with and we would urge people to seek help if they are unable to meet their payments.”

Gemma Willis concluded,

“If you are struggling with debt you don’t have to face it alone. You can contact Debt Action NI by calling the Freephone helpline on 0800 917 4607 to speak directly to an adviser between 8am and 9pm Monday – Friday, and 9am -3pm on a Saturday or you can text the word “Action” to 81025 and an adviser will call you back. You can browse the dedicated website, www.debtaction-ni.net, where you can chat to a virtual adviser or use an online budgeting tool. You can also find a list of the contact details and location of advisers in your local area on the website.  “


Notes to Editors:

1.         For further information contact  028 7930 0444

2.         Advice NI is the umbrella body for the independent advice network in Northern Ireland and has approximately 65 members across NI who provide advice on debt, benefits, housing to name a few. Advice NI members deal with almost 250,000 enquiries per year, with the majority being social security benefits and debt related.

3.         Advice NI has been delivering the DETI funded Debt Action NI project & since August 2012 we have helped over 13,400 clients deal with £192.7 million of debt.

4.         If you would like to find out more visit our websites www.adviceni.net. or www.debtaction ni.net