Recent Grants

November 2020 - Building & Developing Resilience - over £58,000 committed, 9 projects approved.

Free@last is a registered charity, located and working in the culturally diverse Nechells district, in central Birmingham. It originally started in 1999 as a support network for dads, and has expanded into all areas of community development and need, offering youth workshops, debt management help, and running enrichment activities such as trips and excursions.

Free@last has developed and is implementing a poverty strategy, to help eradicate the issue of child poverty in its area, and break the ‘handout’ mentality of some local residents. Our funding will support this strategy, by strengthening the capacity of the debt advice service which has been running for 12 years, and by enabling free@last to deliver monthly financial workshops to around 120 people over the year. The essence of the project is to demonstrate that the debt cycle can be broken and that there is support to help residents take positive steps to breaking the poverty mindset.

Ella’s is a London-based charity working with women who have survived trafficking and sexual exploitation. Ella’s began in 2014, opened its first safe house in 2016, and now in 2020 operates and runs two safe houses and a community outreach programme, working with survivors in neighbourhoods across London.

The safe houses give women a safe place to stay and provides tailored, one-on-one support from professional, compassionate caseworkers. For many survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation, their journey of recovery can be long and complex. Ella’s community outreach programme provides long=term expert person-centred support to vulnerable survivors and their families.

The project we are funding will provide 1:1 budgeting support to 30 women who are resident in Ella’s safe houses or who are part of their outreach caseload. Four frontline staff will be able to enhance and develop their budgeting support knowledge, being funded to attend Community Money Advice’s Budget Coach training course.

Mesila is dedicated to empowering Orthodox Jewish communities to understand and apply the fundamental principles of financial stability. It has been operating in the UK since 2016, based in London, but works in communities across the UK supporting many ‘just about managing’ and low-income families. For adults this includes a comprehensive financial coaching service, workshops and seminars. For children and young adults it provides financial educational programmes to ensure they develop strong foundations.

The project we are funding will provide support for those who have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, including but not limited to 1:1 financial coaching for 80 individuals, and delivery of 4 webinars on current topical issues: redundancy, the uncertain financial climate, planning for the future, and government support, which will reach at least 200 beneficiaries. Furthermore, 2 volunteers will receive training and certification to deliver the unique Mesila coaching course.

Freedom Community Project is an independent Christian registered charity, set up in 2008 to support people struggling with poverty in Bolsover. Since then the charity has grown to cover the North East Midlands and Yorkshire, with 14 support centres.

Our funding will contribute to its financial inclusion worker’s annual salary costs. This will enable Freedom to support those in debt and in financial crisis with money management advice and guidance. In particular, it will focus on individuals whose mental health is vulnerable supporting them digitally, via video or phone call, or in person.

Bags of Taste is a non-profit company which works with vulnerable people struggling with food poverty to enable them to eat healthy food on a budget. It has been delivering ‘food resilience’ courses since 2014, and currently operates in 13 areas across England: Birmingham, Haringey, Islington, Southwark, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, City of London, Wandsworth, Waltham Forest, Thanet, Sheffield, Maldon and Hastings.

Bags of Taste has learned that the issue with the poor diets of people in poverty is complex and deeply entwined with the poverty trap. Its proprietary research into the barriers that people in poverty face has led it to develop a multi-layered intervention that addresses issues of motivation; confidence; lack of financial resource; the sourcing of good, cost effective ingredients; and lack of skills and equipment. It uses aspects of behavioural economics, network science, social psychology and other concepts such as nudge techniques to encourage and motivate participants to make the healthier choices that will affect their daily diets long term.

Our funding will enable Bags of Taste to run 2 physical 'food resilience' courses in the London boroughs of Islington and Southwark, working with 52 participants, Covid restrictions permitting. A further 2 courses will be run in Sheffield (50% match-funded) working with 52 participants. If Covid restrictions are prohibitive, the project would convert to delivering mentored virtual courses, which would teach a total of 108 participants.

Cannock Chase Advice Centre is a small registered charity established in 1997 in a deprived ex-mining area of Staffordshire. It is an independent advice centre, run by 10 volunteers. To deliver this project it will be working in partnership with Penk Moneywise, a local debt advice centre which comes under the umbrella of Community Money Advice.

The project we are funding will provide support to 60 people who are living on or below the poverty line. They will all receive 1:1 debt management coaching sessions. In partnership with Penk Moneywise, it will deliver 4 money management courses, utilising free resources produced by the Just Finance Foundation: Covid Cash Recovery and Cash Smart Credit Savvy, and Penk Moneywise’s own in-house ‘Being Moneywise’ resource.

Swindon Advocacy Movement (SAM) was set up as a user-led organisation in 1995 as a response to many people with learning disabilities leaving long-stay hospitals to live more independently in the community. It has been delivering community-based projects that make long-term, meaningful changes to the lives of people with learning disabilities now for over 25 years. In 2014 it was awarded the Swindon borough contract to provide statutory advocacy services under the Mental Care Act, the Mental Capacity Act and the Care Act.

Our funding will enable SAM to deliver financial skills and confidence-building sessions to 25 adults with learning disabilities living in Swindon, including 1:1 work and where relevant small group work. Twenty beneficiaries will achieve AQA Unit Award Scheme certificates, and 10 will be supported to access online training. This will be delivered by a 5-hour-a week funded project co-ordinator post over 1 year, with the support of a volunteer recruited on to the project.

Tailored Advice Services in Communities (TASC) formed as a community interest company in 2014 to deliver welfare and money advice and training for individuals and groups in Knowsley, Liverpool, Lancashire and Widnes. It works in partnership with local agencies such as Knowsley Disability Concern, Shap Ltd charity, and KPAIS (Knowsley Pensioners' Advocacy and Information Service).

Our funding will support TASC’s Switched On Communities project, which will be delivered in TASC’s newly acquired digital hub which has been set up to provide online services for Knowsley residents. It will support approximately 120 older people, offering one-to-one help and advice for those struggling to get online and experiencing financial exclusion. The project will deliver 4 2-hour training courses aimed at older people in the digital hub (depending on Covid restrictions). The course will include financial health checks, online banking, TV licensing awareness for over-75s, awareness of online scams, price comparisons and how to protect yourself from financial abuse. This will all be delivered through the funding of a 6-hour-a-week ‘older advisor’ post.

Rugby Christian Life Centre is a church and registered charity that has a vision and ethos to support the whole community in which it is situated. It currently delivers a number of initiatives to support the vulnerable and socially disadvantaged, the isolated and excluded. It has been established in the New Bilton area of Rugby for over 24 years. During the Covid-19 pandemic it has developed a working partnership with New Bilton Community Association

The project we are pilot funding is the New Bilton Job Club. This will deliver financial literacy advice and guidance, and work-readiness skills to at least 30 people aged between 35 and 65 in the New Bilton, Long Lawford and Newbold areas of Rugby who have been affected by the pandemic. This will be delivered by a 15-hour-a-week funded project-worker post over 1 year.

November 2019 - Life Changing Transitions - just under £45,000 committed, 7 projects approved.

The Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan Trust, a registered charity was established in 2009 in Leicester. In 2018 they supported over 2,000 disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Leicestershire. They support people to live without the fear of violence and abuse, by providing holistic practical support by helping people transform their lives through education, skills development and employment opportunities.

The project we are funding is to support 78 people, who have become homeless as a result of a change/transition in their life, to successfully maintain a new tenancy. This will be achieved through intensive and wide-ranging tailored 1:1 support to empower people to change their relationship with money, maximise their income and reduce expenditure, understand the important tasks that need to be undertaken so not to fall behind with their rent and priority bills. A project advisor will be funded for 12 hours per week for six months.

Bestwood Advice Centre is a small grassroots charity based in the Bestwood ward of Nottingham. They have been providing free, impartial, confidential advice and support services for over 35 years to their local communities of Bestwood and Basford.

The project we will fund is Life after Debt. It will take a holistic, preventative approach to debt management, by providing a tailored support programme consisting of at least 4 meetings with 120 clients post-case closure. Providing this support will reduce the likelihood of re-entering situations of debt. Meetings will include budget planning, assistance with opening accounts, changing energy suppliers or other contracts. Progress of clients will be monitored by using their resource Value, Money and Me packs.

The Pandora Project, is a registered charity based in King's Lynn, which was established in 2013. Its main aim is to support women affected by domestic abuse in rural West Norfolk.

The project will deliver 1:1 financial capability support and guidance to 50 vulnerable women who live in West Norfolk. Each will be offered up to 6 sessions. This will be delivered by a 10 hour per week funded finance-worker post over one year. The project will empower women to take control of their finances and feel comfortable and more confident managing their money. Having an in-house finance worker who understands the financial impact of domestic abuse will improve the service Pandora can offer their clients.

Access2Advice is a Community Interest Company, established in 2007 in Derby. Their goal is to reduce re-offending through innovative means by working to ensure reliable and effective support for decreasing debt, improving financial capability and developing employment skills for offenders.

The aim of this project is to help ease the life transition offenders face when reintegrating back into the community by providing group debt, benefits and financial capability skills and support for 60 prisoners who committed offenses of a sexual nature and who are nearing the end of a custodial sentence in HMP Lincoln. The project will deliver two 3 hour workshops in HMP Lincoln and then evaluate the programme to establish the need and impact of the project for this offender group.

Clean Slate Training & Employment CIC was set up in 2006, by the former Managing Director of the Big Issue. They are based in Bath. Their overarching aim is to create a lasting impact that helps people help themselves to overcome poverty and escape the threat of homelessness. Clean Slate works with long term unemployed people, ex-offenders, people with histories of substance abuse, people with learning and physical disabilities and new parents.

Our funding will fund four 3 Bs group money skill training days to a minimum of 30 people at risk of homelessness in Gloucester. Each 6 hour money skills training course, addresses participants' attitudes to money and fills any gaps in their financial life skills. The 3 Bs borrow from the triple-threat faced by Universal Credit claimants: banking, budgeting and being online, but goes on to explore borrowing less, saving more, spending less and earning more. The course creates a safe space to explore the way people in their situation should think, behave and manage their money. It will involve participants editing content for Quids in! magazine and act as an agony aunt. By the end of the course they will have identified their own goals and the key steps they will need to take.

Musselburgh and District Citizens Advice has been delivering quality advice and guidance for over 45 years in its local community in Midlothian, Scotland. Since 2011, they have had a Financial Capability Officer delivering a Money Matters project to a range of groups, and have more recently developed a partnership with Criminal Justice and Social Work Teams in East and Midlothian to provide support for their clients who are offenders, at risk of offending or who are victims of domestic abuse.

The project will deliver 36 financial education group sessions to 26 women who attend the Connect, Spring and Supper Bite sessions. It will offer 1:1 support to women who need help to budget and support to negotiate with creditors. It will upskill and train 20 professionals who work in the Criminal Justice Social Work Teams in Mid and East Lothian, using CAB accredited training resources. All the activities will be funded by a 6 hour per week post over one year.

Middle Eastern Women and Society organisation (MEWSo) is a small registered charity based in Islington, North West London. They have been been delivering services to Middle Eastern, North African and Asian migrant, refugee and asylum seeking women and survivors of gender based violence in Westminster and Islington for over 8 years.

The project that we will fund will improve the financial knowledge and resilience of 35 women and their dependants at a critical point of their lives, namely divorce or separation. The service will be delivered over 40 weeks by two experienced welfare advisors who have lived experience of separation, and can speak native languages (English, Arabic, Kurdish and Farsi). Four hours of 1:1 support per week will be delivered. Four workshops of 3 hours each using the CAP Money Course resources will be delivered. A financial capability resource in English, Arabic, Kurdish and Farsi will be developed. Two community volunteers with lived experience will be trained to support and co-facilitate training and provide outreach and further support on financial matters to clients in need.

April 2019 - Raising the Next Generation Round - just under £49,000 committed, 10 projects approved.

Newbigin Community Trust is a registered charity, serving and empowering the culturally diverse community in Winson Green, Birmingham. They facilitate and create opportunities for neighbours to work together towards common goals and create community and networks of mutual support; a place that reduces social isolation and supports people in times of need.

This project will employ an Advocate Coordinator for 10 hours per week to deliver and support the following activities:

Recruit & train 6 volunteer peer advocates, their training comprises of 5 half day financial capability workshops.

Provide 2 x 3.5 hour weekly drop in sessions, one at HMP Birmingham's Visitor Centre and the other at Newbigin House.

3 hours of family outreach will be provided each week to vulnerable families where English is not the first language for banking / benefit support.

In partnership with Birmingham Settlement's Training Unit 25 young people aged 11-16, will attend 2 financial education workshops.

Surviving Economic Abuse is an independent national charity founded in 2017 to raise awareness of economic abuse in the context of domestic abuse, and to transform responses to it. Their vision is a world in which women and girls achieve economic equality and can live their lives free of abuse and exploitation.

This project will develop course content and materials to increase young peoples' knowledge and understanding of how to manage their personal finances and the economic aspect of relationships with a view to preventing young people and women in particular becoming victims of domestic abuse. A pilot programme will be delivered in at least 2 settings, 'School 21' in Stratford and charity partner 'Tender' to teach 35-75 young people. A minimum of 6 training programmes will be delivered.

By March 2020, a range of online & downloadable free tools & resources will be created to be used by a range of youth practitioners.

The Community Bureau, based in Lochgilphead, Argyll, is a Scottish Charity Incorporated Organisation. Founded in 2015, they are an umbrella organisation supporting a range of innovative community development projects and social enterprises designed to meet the needs of their rural and remote community.

This project will deliver the Skills for Living Project to 8 young people with Learning Difficulties.

Two cohorts of 4 people each will attend 4 x 90 minute financial skills workshops. Following completion of the workshops each young person will have the opportunity to volunteer in a safe environment for up to 2 hours on 3 successive weeks.

Community Stuff is a Community Interest Company based in Eastbourne, East Sussex. They have been operating for over 5 years, bringing community together with free fun activities, events, training and learning opportunities.

This project will deliver the hands on course Spend Less, Eat Well. The course teaches people how to manage their money better, learn basic organisational skills and practical cookery skills.

The course comprises 6 x 3 hour sessions, using the resource, 'Beyond the Foodbank' and online resources from the MSE website. The course will be delivered twice. The beneficiaries will be 16 Young Mums who reside in the Salvation Army Young Mothers' houses in Newhaven and Eastbourne.

Speaking Out is a registered Community Interest Company with over 10 years’ experience delivering services to residents of hostels for homeless people across Birmingham and the Black Country.

This project will engage and support 30 young people aged 16-18, who are resident in five homeless hostels across Birmingham and Dudley.

Five new volunteers will be trained to work with the young people in the hostels. There will be 1:1 tuition for each participant as well as weekly group sessions. This support will be delivered over 20 weeks to help them learn basic budgeting skills, numeracy and give them the opportunity to take an adult numeracy AEB qualification.

The project focuses on developing an appreciation of the value and importance of money as a key way of reintegration into society.

St. Andrew's Community Network is a registered charity, it has been supporting vulnerable people in Clubmoor, north Liverpool since 2003. They have delivered money advice and budgeting support for over 10 years, and are the co-ordinators for the north Liverpool Food Bank.

Over the year this project will train 10 new volunteer money advocates to support 40 people. It will deliver the Just Finance Foundation short money courses: Cash Smart Credit Savvy and Universal Credit Savvy adult courses twice per month to 164 adults over the year. In collaboration with West Derby School and Holly Lodge Girls College, a 6 week money foundation course will be delivered to 120 young people in Year 12.

Warm Hut, a registered charity was established in 2009 to support French speaking asylum seekers and refugees living in the Greater Manchester area, especially in Salford. The charity now has a wider remit of helping the local community in Salford and surrounding areas such as Cheetwood and Cheetham Hill.

This project will provide a face to face drop-in debt and money advice service for refugees and migrants experiencing financial difficulties, alongside a weekly club to discuss finance and related issues. It will deliver 10 x 2 hour workshops and learning circles providing preventative information & support. Topics covered include: trust in UK financial institutions; remittances; transferring money abroad; bad credit history; living within means and saving for the future.

A community personal finance outreach programme in Cheetwood will support up to 30 young people, aged 16-21,and up to 10 Community & Faith leaders.

North Bristol Advice Centre is an independent charity that has been delivering advice, representation and community services in deprived areas across North Bristol and South Gloucestershire for over 30 years. Their aim is to promote social justice and combat poverty by providing free and independent advice and support that enables people to develop skills, improve wellbeing and make positive changes in their lives and communities.

This project will deliver the Money Smart course to 60 young people aged 15-18 in partnership with South Gloucestershire & Stroud College. It will deliver 4 courses to 4 tutor groups comprising of 4 x 1 hour sessions. A further 1 hour follow up session will be delivered to all groups later in the year.

Oasis Hub Mayfield is based in a deprived area of Southampton. It was established in 2008, by the international charity Oasis whose vision is to build communities where everyone is included, and people reach their potential. Their Community Hub model is designed to meet the individual needs of a locality, which are tailored to maximise local opportunities.

Four workshops will be delivered at the Oasis hub site by a money trainer from local debt advice service Frontline Debt Advice. They will provide practical budgeting advice and support for up to 40 parents whose children attend the Oasis academies Mayfield and Sholing.

Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice is an independent charity and a member of the National Association of Citizens Advice. Their service is free, confidential, independent and impartial.

This project will employ an experienced financial capability worker for 1 day per week. Working in partnership with Safe in Sussex and My Syster's House it will deliver a flexible programme of 18 financial capability workshops using & adapting financial capability resources from national Citizens Advice, to approximately 48 survivors of domestic abuse.

46 1:1 sessions will be available for those requiring additional support, specifically around the use of IT. Citizens Advice’s digital money coaching materials will be used.

Safe in Sussex and My Syster’s House support workers will benefit by having a specialist resource to refer clients to for financial capability work, freeing up their time to provide broader support to develop clients self-esteem and confidence.