Financial Health Exchange – Financial capability can help people to optimise their financial health

This edition of the Financial Capability Week guest blog comes from the Financial Health exchange; the organisation works to help policy-makers and practitioners stay up to date on the latest financial health thinking and ensure that financial health good practice is followed in all of their work with clients and service users.

To submit a blog on financial capability, please contact joe.cockerline@moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

Financial health is a crucial social and economic issue. Good financial health contributes to overall well-being and creates opportunities for personal and community development. But recent social and economic changes have significantly altered “mainstream life”, which has had consequences for our financial health. We are seeing a growing population who increasingly rely on irregular and unpredictable work as their main source of income, and changes to the benefits system are further squeezing and limiting household budgets. This presents a significant money management challenge which means many people must manage their money in a whole new way.

Supporting people with their financial capability is an important part of helping them to feel a sense of control over their finances and helps them to optimise their financial health. This is why MAS’ Financial Capability Week is so important. It provides an opportunity to examine approaches to financial capability that enable and empower people to deal with the complex decisions they need to make about their money. MAS are bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders including Starbucks, Gingerbread, and Qube Learning which just goes to show how far reaching our message needs to be in order to achieve large-scale change.

At the Financial Health Exchange, we are delighted to be able to take part in Financial Capability Week. The Financial Health Exchange was established a year ago to create a platform for learning and development, sharing ideas and influencing for change, and is open to anyone who believes they can play a role in improving someone’s financial health. Whether you work in housing, community advice services, or are a new FinTech start-up company, the Financial Health Exchange aims to provide you with the tools, resources, learning, networks and influencing opportunities you need to achieve ever greater impact.

To contribute to Financial Capability Week, we will be hosting an event in Durham in partnership with Advice in County Durham and the Monkey project. Our event will explore how co-design and empowerment principles can be combined to bring about change to individuals, communities and organisations. We will hear from the team behind the End Furniture Poverty campaign, which is raising awareness of the often hidden problems of furniture poverty. Workshops will address key themes, including one on the role of communication in financial capability work. In previous sessions, delivered across the UK, we have addressed issues such as how the way we communicate about welfare reform can unintentionally trigger anxiety and fear in our service users. The workshop will provide a space to share examples of good communication practice and discuss how we can overcome these communication challenges.

This event is part of our “Building Financially Healthy Communities” series, which we’ve delivered in a number of different locations including Mid-Wales, Manchester, and Nottinghamshire. The event series is part of our aim to bring together a wide range of stakeholders in order to challenge our thinking about what works and how we can bring about real sustainable change for our communities. We are delighted to be delivering this event in partnership with Advice in County Durham and the Monkey project who are equally committed to improving the financial health of communities throughout Durham. You can follow our event on the day via Twitter; we’ll be using the hashtags #FinHealth and #FinCapweek. You can catch up on the conversation from past events on our website. If you’d like to see a similar event in your area, rebecca.simpson@toynbeehall.org.uk get in touch.

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