Delivering financial first aid

A new way to help those in debt

8th April 2019

“It’s time to talk about money.” That’s the message from Paul Hackwood, the Director of the Just Finance Foundation - an organisation working hard to help people get the financial help they need in a climate of increasing economic uncertainty. In his blog, Paul tells us about the Money First Aid Kit, which is helping start conversations about debt and signposting to support.

I’m increasingly meeting people who are saying that one of the greatest anxieties for adults facing debt and money problems is that it is so difficult to talk about these issues.

A combination of 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 people don’t seek help. But where can that help be found?

It is typical for people to grapple with their money problems for months or even years before they finally 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.

The sense of personal failure and shame are incredibly powerful forces. Thanks to funding from Allchurches Trust, we’ve created the Just Finance Foundation Money First Aid Kit. This online tool aims to equip staff and volunteers in support services to signpost people experiencing financial troubles to the advice and help they need.

It hosts 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.

I want this easy-to-use ‘First Aid Kit’ to enable a relational approach for those people who 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 is working hard to make talking about money more of the 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. This is just one step on the long road towards reaching the 5 in 6 people with problem debt that are not seeking help.

In a time of such economic uncertainty, we need to raise awareness of the free help and advice that’s out there. It could transform lives but needs to be more widely accessed.

That’s why I’d love you to take a look at the Money First Aid Kit so that all of us can help as many people as possible who are struggling with their finances to get the support they need.

It’s crucial that we break the silence, overcome our embarrassment and challenge the stigma by talking about money, knowing that this can be the start of a journey to freedom from worry and to financial wellbeing.