Money advice can be life-saving. Every day we are approached by individuals who are facing financial crises because of unexpected changes to the life circumstances, such as relationship break-up, redundancy and bereavement or simply because they are living below the poverty line. We give individuals access to free specialist advice and ongoing support when they need it most.
Over the last year we have:
⦁ Recieved more than 6,400 enquiries
⦁ Helped more than 4,670 people with advice and casework
⦁ Gained £1,308,200 in charitable grants for vulnerable low-income households through grants and benefits
⦁ Supported clients to reduce their liabilities by £985,100
⦁ Managed £15,175,000 of debt on behalf of clients
Marianne is 59, she lives alone in social housing, and she has chronic asthma which leaves her housebound. Her relationships with her neighbours are strong, she trusts them and they offer her support however she was at risk of having to move away from this support network as she was unable to afford the rent short fall imposed by the bedroom tax.
Our advisers recognised that Marianne could claim Disability Living Allowance, and with our support she was awarded a yearly payment of £5629 and received a backdated sum £523.80. With our help she is now able to stay in her home.
Phillipa has long standing anxiety and agoraphobia, she was referred to us by a social worker from Shelter. Phillipa’s current home isn’t suitable for her health, however she is unable to move because she has arrears from her current property. Phillipa has other debts too which worsen her condition. Working with her Social Worker, who had built up trust with Phillipa, we advised that a Debt Relief Order would write off her old debt and enable her to move. Now she has had her DRO approved Phillipa can start bidding for a new social tenancy without the worry of her debt following her. She now has the chance for a fresh start.
Abdi is self-employed father, he came to the UK from Somalia in 2003 to escape civil war, and he left all close family members behind. With a fluctuating income Abdi found it difficult to budget, he had responsibility for his young family in the UK and supporting elderly relatives in Somalia, he ran into difficulties paying his energy bills. With the help from our Energy Advice Project Abdi lowered his energy bills by applying for free insulation and a new boiler, he also had benefits and budgeting advice which has helped him stay in control of his money.
We regularly ask our clients to provide feedback on the service provided, the advice given and comment on whether they feel that our advice will make a lasting difference to their lives.
Our most recent client feedback report demonstrates our impact on lives:
⦁ 73% report improved ability to cope with their debt
⦁ 72% report improved ability to manage financially
⦁ 53% report improved relationships with partner and family
⦁ 45% report an improvement in health
⦁ 64% report improved self-esteem
If you’d like to support our work to relieve and prevent poverty please visit our Get Involved page.
Talking Money holds the Advice Quality Standard (AQS) and our debt advice is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct authority (FCA). We also work closely with external evaluators and partners to assess the impact of our work. Some of the resulting reports are shown below – click on the image to read the report:
Advice in Bristol (March 2016) – a report by the six major advice agencies in Bristol, collectively known as the Bristol Advice Partnership. The report summarised the difference that our advice has made for individuals and the community, and includes the partnership’s ‘Theory of Change’.
Debt Advice Evaluation – Money Advice West 2015-16 – a report by Optimisa Research, commissioned by the Money Advice Service in relation to the Money Advice West debt advice partnership led by Talking Money.
Key findings from the independent evaluation of the Secure & Warm Advice Partnership’s Managing Money Better project (June 2015) – a report by RZ Hankins Consultancy on the work of the Comic Relief Secure & Warm Advice Partnership led by Talking Money. The project ran from 2012 – 2015.