People experiencing financial distress, particularly those on low incomes, are often reluctant to talk about their problems or seek help. And the complexity of different financial products, and the benefits and allowances systems, often makes the idea of finding a solution seem impossible.

TNT works through churches and local community groups to tackle these issues. We partner with the Just Finance Foundation to offer workshops for project staff and volunteers to teach them about budgeting and money management in order for them to help others build their financial confidence.

We believe that everyone can benefit from learning some simple, practical skills around budgeting and money management.

We offer a course called Cash Smart, Credit Savvy. The course offers some introductory training around basic budgeting skills. It’s run as an informal and fun group activity in two sessions each of two hours and is accessible to a wide range of people.

We also offer UC Savvy, a one hour session which provides an overview of what Universal Credit is and how organisations can support the people they work with as they move onto it.

One organisation that attended a UC Savvy course in Nottingham is the Jericho Road Project, which offers practical and emotional support to women affected by the sex industry. In 2017 they helped 195 women, many of whom will be recipients of Universal Credit when it’s introduced in the city later this year.

Staff from the project found the course increased their understanding of the new benefit and the content prompted conversations about how this would affect the women they support. They left feeling better equipped to respond to the changes and are now in the early stages of preparing an action plan for supporting the women who access their services through the transition to Universal Credit.

After sharing information with other staff and volunteers, an initial action was to check that the women who are engaging with support have a bank account and photo ID – crucial first steps that will help prevent delays in registering and receiving the benefit.

UC Savvy puts information in the hands of organisations so that, as those they work with negotiate the transition to the new benefit, they can be ready to offer support and guidance.

"Most of my participants are on extremely low incomes - often less than £400 per month after rent so anything geared towards that group would be helpful."
"Well delivered. Good pace. Easy to follow structure. Thanks!"
"Could do with updating to reflect UC. Trainer was lovely, accessible and enthusiastic - can we clone you?"
"Liked the training but feel it's more about psychological & breaking cultural issues e.g. some clients will not buy from charity shops."
"I will use the printed materials in my 1-1 sessions with my customers. They are very easy to understand!"
"Definitely a useful tool to use with my clients."
"We are a tough crowd.. Well done to Lauren who delivered in very good fashion."
"Good delivery and content. Could have been pitches more for clients on benefits/financial difficulty. More on savings eg different types of accounts. Also different options re: debt advice."

LifeSavers is a financial education programme for primary schools, giving children the knowledge, skills and attitudes to manage money well.

Habits around money are being formed by the age of 7 and just 5% of parents think that their children leave school with the skills needed to manage money well.

LifeSavers equips teachers to teach financial education, supports schools to set up savings clubs and provides resources to engage parents and families.’ For more information or to express interest in your Notts school joining the programme please contact LifeSavers.

If you would like TNT to run a workshop at your organisation, or if you’d like to find out more, please contact Hannah Buck.

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