Talking Money advice, support & information Wed, 23 Oct 2019 14:33:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 We’re Recruiting Tue, 28 May 2019 08:32:47 +0000


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Become A Trustee Tue, 11 Sep 2018 08:07:33 +0000


Talking Money is always keen to hear from potential new Trustees to help develop and oversee the strategy for and governance of this successful money advice charity.  If you are looking for a real opportunity to make a significant difference to local communities and have some relevant experience and perspective to offer, we would encourage you to find out more.

As Universal Credit rolls out fully in Bristol, the impact of all elements of Welfare Reform continues to bite and the cumulative effect of a decade of recession and subsequent very slow patchy recovery continue to affect a substantial number of people and their families.  Talking Money works in partnership with others to give people facing financial hardship or crisis some respite and some professional advice and support, to enable them to find their feet or stay on them.

Four of the existing trustees have been with the charity for at least four years and would welcome some fresh insight and challenge to contribute to strategic thinking and good governance. Our Board of Trustees meet six times a year.

Like all charities, attracting and maintaining funding is a core requirement and if you have significant experience, expertise or talent in relation to innovative fundraising, we would be especially keen to hear from you.  Current Trustees have a range of business and financial skills and acumen.  They are keen to broaden their perspective by including individuals who represent greater diversity.  Applications are especially welcome from people who have personal experience that enables them to readily identify with and understand the needs of our clients.

You should be able to find all relevant contextual and background information on our website and for further information or an application form please contact Rory Borealis, Chief Executive

Tel: (07764) 628186 e-mail:

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What to do with Blue Monday? Fri, 12 Jan 2018 13:55:23 +0000
Beat your January woes with the Blue Monday Fair on January 15th

By Penny Walster, Shelter

Samantha, Richard and their two children spent a very difficult Christmas 2016 living in a rat-infested and rundown temporary flat, whilst they searched desperately for a home. After 12 months of struggling with debt and trying to keep life normal for their two girls, the pair felt the pressure to cope was getting too much. This lead to growing problems with anxiety and depression.

When they first came to Shelter, Samantha and Richard where struggling to sleep and experiencing panic attacks because of fears for their family’s safety. With help and support from Shelter and other agencies across Bristol, Samantha and Richard and the children were able to move into a permanent home and make arrangements to deal with their debt. Now, over a year later, they have both been able to access counselling and therapy, they have been on the first ever holiday with their children – and have just celebrated a lovely Christmas together as a family in their own home. They are finally looking forward to the future.

When life is tough it can be hard to remember to look after yourself and your own mental wellbeing. This is particularly the case if, like Samantha and Richard, you are a parent or have other people relying on you. Shelter’s research in Spring 2017 found that 1 in 5 adults suffered from mental health problems due to housing pressures. Our own experience in our Bristol hub supports this with increasing numbers of people telling us that they are experiencing panic attacks, anxiety and depression as a result of their housing issues and debts.

That is why Shelter has come together with the Ways2Work, The Centre for Sustainable Energy, National Careers Service, Bristol Energy, Bristol & Wessex Water and more than forty health and advice organisations from across Bristol for this year’s Blue Monday Fair on 15th January. On what has previously been labelled “the most depressing day of the year” we are joining with other organisations and the local community to show that you are not alone.

At this helpful event you can find information, advice and support to tackle difficult problems around debt, housing and employment. There’s also information about health and wellbeing from physical health issues to advice and suggestions to manage your mental health. We’ll be offering an opportunity to try free activities, such as a mandala workshop and massage therapies, as well as the opportunity to win a hamper of goodies.

You can find out more about who is going to be at the Blue Monday Fair online here: and follow events on social media with #BristolBlueMonday. But why not pop down and join us at this free fair in the Galleries Shopping Centre on Monday 15th January between 10am and 3pm – we look forward to seeing you!

If you’re affected by housing and homelessness this new year, then come and see us at the Shelter Bristol Office at New Bond House, Bond Street, Bristol, BS2 9AG or call us on 0344 515 1430.


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January E-Bulletin 2018 – Surviving the January blues Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:23:46 +0000

Happy new year! Thank you for clicking through to read more from our e-bulletin.

Surviving the January Blues

Talking Money is passionate about seeing it’s community thrive and sometimes that means recognising when times can be hard.  January can be one of those hard times.  The weather seems to be colder, the excitement of Christmas has come and gone and somehow another year has passed.  Researchers say that the combination of debts, credit card bills, failed new years resolutions and post festive let down can naturally make anyone feel low.

There are many factors that can help you in this time including getting outside, exercise and making a record of things that you are thankful for, but we would like to cover the ‘money’ topic.   Even when you are wise with money and try to be as frugal as possible during the festive season there is always a spike in social activity, gift giving and often travel.  These things are expensive and can give a financial hangover even if you have been careful.  You might not be able to undo the spending you did while influenced by the pretty lights, prosecco and Christmas films but you can look forward.  If your finances are feeling weak, now is the time to make a choice to become financially strong.

Make a money calendar
This is the perfect time to map out when there are going to be peak times of spending through the year.  Ask yourself, when are the important birthdays? When do you plan to go on holiday? When does your car need its MOT and service? It’s also worth considering if there are friends you might be visiting or if there are any events like weddings coming up in the year.  These things quickly rack up quite a bill and if you can see them on your calendar you can make a plan of how much money you need to spend/save for each occasion.

Be a squirrel! (Sort your banking)
Leading on from mapping out key events/costs on your calendar, you can be saving for these events by setting up a linked bank account which is purely for these costs.  Most banks can talk you through having separate accounts for holidays, bills, monthly spending etc.  Or if this sounds too difficult you can pay ‘Squirrel’ a small amount, to ‘squirrel’ away your money for you.  If you want to find out more about their services visit:

Don’t be an ostrich
This is an excellent time to make good habits, and sticking your head in the sand is not one of them!  We understand that money can be incredibly anxiety inducing and at times opening up bank letters or bills can be overwhelming.  The thing is, knowledge is power, so as soon as you know what debts and bills are coming your way, you can make a plan to manage them.  If you are struggling to meet payments make sure you try to speak to the provider and see if a more realistic payment plan is an option.  There are plenty of self-help tools available on the Money Advice West website, simply click here.

Great (and cheap) events to kick start your year
Blue Monday
George and the Flight of the Imaginees
Try Something New (Adults) – Drama

We wish you the very best this year and hope that you will not need us, but if you do we are here to help.

Other e-bulletin articles:

To read our ‘GDPR’ article click here
To read our ‘Funding cuts’ article click here
To read our ‘I AM campaign’ article click here


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January E-Bulletin 2018 – I AM campaign Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:11:35 +0000

Happy new year! Thank you for clicking through to read more from our e-bulletin.

‘I Am’ campaign

Talking Money is proud to be the lead agency for a money and debt advice partnership called ‘Money Advice West’.  This year Money Advice West are excited to launch the ‘I Am’ campaign.

The idea of the ‘I Am’ campaign is to portray individuals as whole, multidimensional people, not simply a one-dimensional walking problem.  There is a lot of stigma around receiving support for money.  Those who need benefits and struggle with debt are often portrayed as lazy, living off the taxes of other hard-working people.  The truth is 1 in 3 families are one pay packet away from being homeless (09 Aug 2016, The Guardian); being in a place of need and crisis can happen to anyone.  Last year only 1.4% of benefit claims were fraudulent; nearly all claims are a sign of struggle.

We want to portray the true nature of our clients, why they matter and how society works better as a whole when it is interdependent.

The two main aims of the campaign:

  • Cultural change; breaking the shame around money, debt and benefits
  • Encouraging potential clients to reach out

It’s important that we work with you to building an inclusive and understanding community.


Other e-bulletin articles:

To read our ‘GDPR’ article click here
To read our ‘Funding cuts’ article click here
To read our ‘Surviving the January blues’ article click here


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January E-Bulletin 2018 – Funding cuts Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:56:01 +0000

Happy new year! Thank you for clicking through to read more from our e-bulletin.

Cuts to our funding. What does this mean for our clients?

Talking Money is saddened to say that we are not untouched by the economic climate.  It has been confirmed that the EDF Energy Trust funding is coming to an end.  We are also expecting a reduction of funding from Bristol City Council and British Gas Energy Trust.  In total, we are preparing ourselves for a 25% loss of our current funding.

We want to make sure we stay focused on our clients in this time as they are the ones who will feel the impact the most.  With cuts to funding over 500 less people will be able to access our services. Many of our clients have complex needs, with money worries just one of the multiple issues people have.

One debt adviser costs £31,628 p/a. They deal with incredibly complex situations where debt is often layered with traumatic experiences, family complications or abuse. In a year, an adviser will touch up to 360 lives. “Your organisation it gives people like me a chance to know that there is always someone to help when debts make you feel like there is just a huge solid wall starting to fall down on you. Again, I just cannot say Thank You enough.” Client, 2017

We want to see people thriving, 
free from debt and poverty,
unhindered to live life fully.

More now than ever we need your help to change lives in and around Bristol.  If you are able to make a donation you can do this by clicking here or if you would like to consider being a Talking Money ‘Major Donor’ please download our guide by clicking here.

Other e-bulletin articles:

To read our ‘GDPR’ article click here
To read our ‘Surviving the January blues’ article click here
To read our ‘I AM campaign’ article click here


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Keeping in touch Thu, 07 Dec 2017 09:05:17 +0000

Keeping in touch

This year data protection laws are changing to help protect individuals’ privacy.  So we can keep in touch with you, please see the quick form below.

We promise not to be over eager in our communications with you as we don’t believe in sending out something for communication’s sake.

If you stay in touch we promise to share with you areas we are seeking transformation in, where we are finding it a challenge, what we celebrate and where we might need your help.

If you are happy to continue receiving direct communications please fill out the form below.  We value your support and hope that you continue to be a willing listener to our voice.

Fields marked with an * are required

Data Protection

Other e-bulletin articles:

To read our ‘Surviving the January blues’ article click here
To read our ‘Funding cuts’ article click here
To read our ‘I AM campaign’ article click here




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Stop the loan sharks! Wed, 15 Nov 2017 16:13:12 +0000
Stop the loan sharks! By the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) Loan sharks operate outside the law so they have no legal right to recover the debt. In fact, they have no legal right to make you pay back the loan back at all – because the loan is illegal. The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) are a national team who investigate and prosecute loan sharks. The team run a 24-hour hotline on 0300 555 2222; your call will be handled by a trained officer and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence. Anyone who lends money needs to hold a licence.  If you ever wonder if a person is licensed you can look at the register that is maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority. You can search by a company or person’s name – this register is a public record that shows details of all individuals and firms that are regulated. The website is When calling the IMLT, an officer will speak to you and explain the process.  The more details you can provide the better, but even if you only know a small amount of information then still call.  Your piece may be the vital bit of the puzzle to assist an investigation. We recognise that you may be anxious about speaking to the team so you will be assigned a dedicated support officer (from the IMLT’s LIAISE department) who will answer any questions or concerns you may have; they will also guide you through the process from beginning to end. If you have confided in your manager, or anyone else, and you do not feel able to talk to the IMLT at this stage, you could always get them to ring the team on your behalf. The IMLT will take information anonymously or in confidence. Alternatively you can contact the team by text, email or the website.  They will take it from there. What is a loan shark? A loan shark is someone who lends money without the correct authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is a criminal offence to lend money without authorisation; one which is taken very seriously by the courts. Loan sharks come in all different guises. These criminals usually appear friendly at first and will act as though they are providing a community service; lending money to individuals in the area who may be struggling financially. Although they may seem pleasant, a loan shark’s behaviour soon changes once monies are owed. How do they operate? Loan sharks have been known to operate independently or with others as part of a larger enterprise. They usually receive their custom through word of mouth, but have also been known to advertise their cash loan services on social media. Loan sharks will start off by being your friend to gain your trust, but it’s not long until they are banging at your door and sending you threatening text messages, demanding repayments. How to contact the IMLT The England Illegal Money Lending Team run a confidential hotline (0300 555 2222) which is manned 24/7 by a trained officer. The team can accept information anonymously and in confidence and will talk you through your options. Alternatively, visit the website
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Advisers, you don’t want to miss this… Tue, 07 Nov 2017 15:40:50 +0000

Why come to the Wessex Financial Capability Forum?

This will be a particularly interesting time as it is the MAS Financial Capability Week, this is your chance to:

  • Hear all about MAS’s latest ‘Talk Money’ campaign
  • Be a fore-runner in best practice
  • Earn CPD points
  • Network
  • Have a free lunch!

Venue: Barton Hill Settlement
Date: 1.00-4.00pm

Less is more, so we will let you explore THIS FinCap link and fill in your attendance for the meeting HERE


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Save £140 off your electricity heating bills! Wed, 04 Oct 2017 16:00:39 +0000

It can be really hard to meet the rising costs of bills can’t it? There is some good news! You may qualify for what is called the Warm Home Discount.  If you want to find out more, click here for our self-help guide.


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