From January 2021, over 500 benefit claimants in West London will receive up to six weeks financial guidance support funded by the Department of Work and Pensions.
Job centres from nine boroughs, including Kingston, Hillingdon and Brent, are referring 540 claimants for up to six weeks’ financial guidance support. Clean Slate will deliver an initial money health-check by phone, exploring participants’ money worries, the root causes and the extent of the problem. Using a toolkit designed by Quids in!, Clean Slate’s money skills initiative, a money health-check generates a series of next steps for claimants to follow, working towards improved financial wellbeing.
Clean Slate Founder, Jeff Mitchell, said: “Until lockdown, our support work mainly consisted of face-to-face delivery of money guidance, employment support and digital access in three very local areas of England. Necessity drove us to reinvent a remotely delivered service and now we’ve been able to increase our reach exponentially.”
Participants benefit from weekly calls with support workers to identify their priority needs, conduct budget reviews and explore ways to reduce costs and increase income. Where possible, savings plans are discussed and if specialist debt, housing or mental health advice is required, claimants are signposted to appropriate agencies.
The money health-check revolves around the online Future-Proof Finance Quiz, originally designed as a self-help tool for Quids in! magazine readers. In 2020, in partnership with the Good Things Foundation and supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Mastercard, the Quiz was upgraded to include links to digital tools and resources. The aim was to help improve digital confidence and literacy so people on low incomes could access digital help to manage their money better.
“Our work under the Quids in! name has spanned the UK,” Jeff Mitchell added. “The money Quiz was one way we helped low income household help themselves towards financial resilience. Not only did that tool come into its own during lockdown, we were able to invest in it to ensure people could find a lot of help that is online but difficult to find if you don’t know what you’re looking for.”
More on Clean Slate’s Money Health-Check service here.