Throughout the pandemic and numerous lockdowns in 2020, MOTW staff noticed a considerable increase in conversations they were having with their participants that revolved around their finances.
The conversations ranged from them being worried about their benefits and how to claim them, to being concerned about rising debt. But whatever the problems were, our participants were becoming more anxious, worried, and pre-occupied meaning they couldn’t move on and find employment as a result.
Towards the end of last year, we were able to source and provide Financial Capability training for our participants. This bespoke and comprehensive support is delivered by Sonia, a Financial Advisor working for one of our charity partners Oasis Community Housing. So far, she has helped over 15 participants work through their finances and get back on their feet, helping them to feel more confident and understand what the future looks like for them.
What makes this support stand out from the rest is that it’s non-judgmental, personable and it’s held on a one-to-one basis. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to finances. Of course, you can learn about income vs expenditure and the difference between priority and non-priority debt, but each person’s circumstances are different and Sonia recognises that, listens and works with our participants to help them take ownership and deal with what they’re faced with.
The feedback has been outstanding, and our Navigators actively encourage their participants to chat with Sonia, even if they aren’t in financial trouble as she can also give advice on budgeting and preventative measures. This addition to our offer has been a great confidence boost to our participants, who are now able to focus on their own development and finding the training and employment opportunities they want rather than feel the pressure of financial uncertainty.
There is no shame in having debt, sometimes it’s out of your control and before you know it, you’re on a downwards spiral and feel like there is no way out. But that’s not true. Don’t give in to fear and bury your head in the sand, let me take the pressure off and give you the support and advice to help you see a way through.