As it’s Scottish Financial Capability Week, we want to #TalkMoney and look at how our Delivering Financial Inclusion programme, which is funded jointly by the European Social Fund and National Lottery players, is helping disadvantaged households across Scotland improve their money management skills and reduce debt.
Lots of households experience money pressures, but things can be particularly tough for lone parents, unemployed people and those on low incomes.
As a result, our programme helps people in Argyll & Bute, Dundee, Inverclyde, Glasgow and North Ayrshire with these pressures, by bringing together local partners to co-ordinate support around debt advice, fuel poverty, money management, digital skills, affordable credit and banking services.
We know from The Financial Capability Strategy for Scotland that struggling to pay bills or deal with debts not only impacts on people’s day-to-day quality of life, it can have significant long-term effects on peoples’ wellbeing, relationships and opportunities.
By enabling people to address their money worries, make informed decisions and plan for the future, people are starting to build financial resilience.
Here’s a few examples of the Delivering Financial Inclusion programme supporting people across Scotland:
Working closely with community partners, Wheatley Group launched the ‘My Money’ service in July this year. This service means that personal Money Mentors are on hand to help people like Elton who, due to illness, was unable to work and had built up rent arrears and other debts.
Elton’s mental health was suffering due his financial situation but, with help from his Money Mentor, he was able to increase his income, deal with his debts and lower his energy bills.
Elton was delighted with this support and told us: “I’m extremely happy with the service I received. My life has completely changed.”
The ‘Better Off North Ayrshire’ service includes a number of local hubs where people can access support and advice.
So far the service has produced solid financial gains for people in North Ayrshire and feedback has been very positive: “I now have the money to get my house sorted. The loan was so easy and I’m getting help with my gas. Need a warm home for my kids.”
The I:DEAS service brings eight partner organisations across Inverclyde together, delivering a truly holistic service centring on Financial Inclusion, building capacity and supporting families within the community.
Recently a couple, who both have learning disabilities, were struggling to pay high cost credit agreements for white goods and were extremely anxious when creditors threatened to remove the items. I:DEAS helped this vulnerable family to negotiate with creditors and find alternative, affordable goods within their budget. The family are now more confident talking about and dealing with money matters.
Financial Capability Week takes place from 13th to 17th November and aims to highlight the work currently underway to improve financial resilience. Use the hashtag #TalkMoney to follow the online conversation.
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