In February 2020, Talking Money turned 30 years old and held an event for partners, supporters and staff to mark our 30th birthday year at PWC. As an organisation established to support marginalised people following the financial crisis of the 1980s, in our 30th anniversary year, we remain, staggeringly, as relevant today as we were then, arguably more so.
You can donate to our birthday campaign here.
Rewind time back to the mid-1990s. The UK economy is healing after its second significant recession in a decade but the impact is still being felt. Britain has an unemployment problem and a poverty problem. Further, the two are connected because most poor people live in workless households. Things have changed. The percentage of people in work is now higher than ever before, but many of those with jobs are struggling to make ends meet. The poverty problem remains, but now its focused among the employed instead of the jobless.
Compounding the issue of underemployment caused by the prevalence of crippling zero hour contracts and the existence of a minimum wage that cannot be considered a living wage is a benefits system that is complex, bureaucratic and does not give adequate support to people in difficult times. Additionally, housing has become a lot more costly for those earning low wages. Most of those affected by in-work poverty are not owner-occupiers, so while particularly low mortgage rates have kept housing costs down for those who own their own homes, renting has become more expensive.
As austerity has continued to bite, Talking Money has been faced with there being less money available from local authorities. We have therefore had to compete even harder for funding whilst our client numbers and the complexity of cases only continues to rise.
As a consequence of the funding challenges faced, Talking Money has been looking at alternative revenue streams and different ways of engaging new partners and supporters. I am encouraged by the 3-year strategy we put in place in 2019, which will guide our focus over the coming years. Fundraising – as part of that strategy, is fundamental. We know that, when we speak about our work supporting some of Bristol’s most deprived communities, people want to support us. So, our priority is to raise our profile and identify more of those supporters, so they can help us to reach more of the people who need us.
In reading this 30th Birthday blog, I hope you are encouraged, hopeful and inspired. As we enter into this new decade, we would be delighted if you take the next step and offer your support to enable us continue to provide the essential money advice services we know to be integral to securing the financial stability of the individuals and families we help.
Any donations, big or small, which enable us to continue our work are gratefully received & can be made here.
Opportunities for corporate partnerships are available and details of who to contact are here.
We welcome people who are interested in becoming volunteers, and you can find out more here.
Anna Brown, CEO.