Building Financially Resilient Communities
Building Financially Resilient Communities in 2022: further support from the Aviva Foundation
Using a Whole Person, Whole Community Approach, Talking Money, St Pauls Advice Centre (https://www.stpaulsadvice.org.uk/) and AdviceUK are working with communities in Bristol to deal with money worries in ways that suit the complexity of people’s lives: through the learning that is happening locally, AdviceUK is also developing resources, networks and initiatives that will introduce the approach to others across the UK. We are delighted that Aviva Foundation will continue to support this work in 2022, as part of Aviva Plc’s commitment to investing in communities across the UK (https://www.aviva.co.uk/services/about-our-business/about-us/).
Despite significant and ongoing public spending on debt advice and financial capability, many people in England, Scotland and Wales are now in a worse position to withstand financial shocks than pre-pandemic. Low-income households are disproportionately exposed to growing financial pressures, for example in relation to energy bills and wider costs of living.
People seeking advice and support need to be put at the heart of how services and initiatives are designed, resourced and improved. Communities need more power to influence how decisions are made and how services are run. This requires a wholesale change in how we think about advice provision. A crucial first step is to listen to what people are asking services to do, understand their experiences of financial difficulty, and pay attention to what is important to them.
Aviva Foundation’s funding has enabled us to test, develop and begin to scale up new ways of working in communities to deal with money worries. We call this a Whole Person, Whole Community Approach, and we have used a simple but effective, Test-Learn-Share-Seed project methodology to achieve these goals, informed by systems thinking insights. Aviva’s investment will enable individuals and communities to create support that fits their own aspirations for financial wellbeing.