Every Penny Counts

05 January 2017

The project helps to raise awareness of debt issues, provides opportunities for local people to come together and supports them to become more confident and gain more control over their lives.

Through Active Communities project Every Penny Counts, residents living on the Netherton Park estate in Merseyside are increasing their money management skills. The project also aims to tackle the high levels of debt and door step lenders locally, which were identified as issues by residents.

Netherton Park Neighbourhood Centre received a grant of £37,857 from People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthFit through The Health Lottery.

Every Penny Counts has trained 30 local residents as Debt Champion Volunteers by providing ten-week debt and money management skills courses. The sessions were delivered by Centre staff with a specialist debt management advisor from a nearby community centre.

One volunteer who went through the training has been able to break a long-term cycle of debt with doorstep lenders by taking part in the training programme and joining the Centre’s associated credit union.

The project helps to raise awareness of debt issues, provides opportunities for local people to come together and supports them to become more confident and gain more control over their lives.

It also helps members to address their debt and gain financial management skills, helping them to access support and take control over their financial situation.

Thanks to the project, members have built new social links, strengthen existing bonds and develop their support networks.

They are also able to share their knowledge with people not involved in the project, and encourage them to access support and develop skills and knowledge to manage their finances and overcome their debt.

The increased confidence that this project is giving to members is helping in other areas of their lives too. Two volunteers have taken on paid roles as employees at the Centre, helping in the kitchen and supporting the financial administration of the Centre. Another volunteer has gone on to become heavily involved in running a homeless kitchen project in the centre of Liverpool.

Funding from the Trust came to an end in December, but Every Penny Counts will continue to run from Netherton Park Neighbourhood Centre.

As a result of volunteers’ increased social links and ties, they are able to expand this network into the community to bring more residents together and share skills and knowledge to help local people experiencing financial issues take control of their lives.

Rona Heron, Project Coordinator, said: “It’s just part of the centre now, it’s part of our makeup, our offer, and it will continue like that, in fact it will grow and get better, due to the staff and volunteer commitment, we have so many new skills to share now”.

 

To read about more great ideas funded by the Trust, click here.

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