A DEBT advisor who was made redundant is hoping to use her skills to help the people of Leigh.

Judith Duddle hopes to fill a gap left by legislation which withdrew legal aid by opening Deptscape CIC, a social enterprise that will help those in need to manage their debt.

Using her years of experience in the industry, Judith will help clients complete a range of benefit claim forms, assist with bailiff action and negotiate with creditors amongst other things.

She said: “While off on sick leave recovering from an operation, I learned that my department at a solicitors’ office had been made redundant as a result of the Welfare Reform Act.

“The new legislation has directly impacted on solicitors and CABs (government debt schemes) as legal aid was drastically cut and hit the community on low income such as people on benefits, low wages and pensioners.”

Judith learnt she had lost her job while recovering from an operation in February after a car accident in 1992 left her with lifelong injuries – for which she has had several spinal operations – and decided to use her expertise to help others.

Debtscape CIC will help anyone in the community with their debt problems, including employed, unemployed, disabled, elderly or young people.

She has set up shop in an office in Bridgewater House on Westbridgewater Street in Leigh and officially opened on Friday.

People will be able to drop in or call 01942 672292 for an appointment. Home visits will also be available for a small contribution to cover the advisor’s travel and time.

Judith said: “Hopefully, within the next 12 months, I will expand the business and will look to employ other staff.

“Currently my 18-year-old daughter Frances is helping me out and I hope to take her on as an apprentice.”