One of the greatest anxieties for adults facing debt and money problems is not talking about them. High-cost loans and the constant tide of demands on a person’s money, means a small money problem can rapidly become a big one if they don’t seek help.
It is common that people grapple with money problems for months or even years before they ask for outside help. Research has shown that as with other resources such as foodbanks, advice services are often approached only as a last resort. A sense of personal failure and shame are incredibly powerful forces.
The Just Finance Foundation’s Money First Aid equips staff and volunteers in support services to guide someone to the help they need. The online tool hosts key resources, tips for talking about money and links to organisations that can offer advice. For quick access wherever you are it can be saved to your phone, laptop or tablet.
Paul Hackwood, Director of Just Finance Foundation said:
“The online Money First Aid Kit was developed to enable a relational approach for those who might want to help but don’t necessarily know where to direct friends or those they meet in the course of their work to find assistance. The Just Finance Foundation works to help making talking about money a norm. We equip concerned individuals to spot problems early and introduce alternatives. We aim to stimulate a healthy and sustainable shift in the climate around money.
“Talking about money isn’t easy. Whether we’re comfortably off, just about managing or struggling to make ends meet, discussing our financial situation is something that most of us avoid. When money, or the lack of it, becomes a problem that causes worry and distress, the shame and stigma that feeds on the silence we’ve created around money becomes a barrier, just when we most need to be reaching out for help.
“This is why 5 in 6 people with problem debt are not seeking the help and advice they need; the free help and advice that is out there and that could transform their situation.
It’s crucial that we do break the silence, overcome our embarrassment and challenge the stigma by talking about money, knowing that this can be the first step to helping someone start their journey to freedom from worry and to financial wellbeing.”
The Money First Aid Kit is hosted at: www.justfinancefoundation.org.uk/moneyfirstaidkit
It has been made possible by a grant from the Allchurches Trust and is designed to be a quick reference guide allowing those wanting to help enable an easy way to get to those who are providing help and support.
James Laing, Director of Grants and Relationships at Allchurches Trust, said: “At the heart of Allchurches Trust’s grant-giving is a desire to help those most in need. We were keen to support the development of the Money First Aid Kit as it is a useful tool for signposting people experiencing money problems to information and support that could enable them to find their way out of tough times.
“This is the sort of initiative that could make a real difference to people’s lives as it will give community workers, church and charity volunteers and caseworkers the information they need to confidently tackle talking about money at an early stage, before problems become insurmountable.”
The site also has tips for talking about money that include:
- the importance of listening, leaving space for people explain their situation and how it is making them feel
- being positive so that talking about their situation is the first step to getting the help and support they need
- and to remember you don’t have to solve their problem, your role is to listen and support
Notes to editors:
For more information please visit: www.justfinancefoundation.org.uk/moneyfirstaidkit
Interviews, visuals and additional quotes can be arranged, please contact: Matt.Adcock@cuf.org.uk or call 07711 872753
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