COVID Cash Recovery: a lifeline in a pandemic

CHARITIES

Just Finance Foundation’s COVID Cash Recovery is a trailblazing course equipping churches and community leaders to support people facing financial hardship through COVID-19 and beyond.

In 2019, Allchurches Trust awarded Just Finance Foundation (JFF) £250,000 funding towards the expansion if its LifeSavers programme - an educational scheme helping children to learn how to manage money effectively. 

When Coronavirus hit, the staff were temporarily deployed as frontline support for families facing financial struggles and COVID Cash Recovery (CCR) was born.

Since then, emergency funding of £100,000 from Allchurches Trust has helped JFF to expand its CCR training to over 1,700 churches, charities and community organisations, helping more than 45,000 people to avoid financial crisis.

A group of people, including a vicar, talking
A woman teaches at a Just Finance Foundation course

Due to the financial chaos of Covid-19, it has been difficult for people to know what they’re entitled to and what support is available to them.

COVID Cash Recovery up-skills churches and community leaders to provide information and resources to the community, so that vulnerable people have a better understanding of how to cope financially. The course covers general entitlements, Universal Credit, budgeting, available grants, debt advice and much more.

Darren’s Story

Darren was like many others who unexpectedly fell out of work in April 2019. Through a colleague, he was asked to attend the COVID Cash Course as a representative of his local church so that he could offer help, information and resources to people in the community who were struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Darren, with personal debts of over £15,000, the debt section of the course was able to inspire him to take action. 

After attending the course in April, Darren explains that he is now on the path to recovery because of the COVID Cash Course:

“I now have a job with the NHS. Had I not attended the COVID cash course run by the Just Finance Foundation, I would not have found out about the debt counselling service I really needed. I now continue to assist other people in my community with CCR when I operate as an itinerant pastor in my spare time.

“I can empathise with others, knowing exactly how it feels to be in debt and worried about the future.”

A woman smiling whilst learning at a JFF course
Two women read from activity books at a JFF course

“The response to CCR has been overwhelmingly positive. A simple google of ‘COVID Cash Course’ highlights the spread and impact of the programme. We are so grateful for the faith in the project from Allchurches Trust, we hope the programme will continue to develop and grow over time.” -  Just Finance Foundation

The course has surpassed JFF’s expectations, with targets broken for both the number of churches and community leaders trained and the number of vulnerable people supported. 

As the course goes from strength to strength, an Allchurches Trust Hope Beyond grant of £20,000 is supporting further expansion into more disadvantaged communities across England and helping with the creation of money advice videos aimed at 16 to 24 year olds.

Young people have been particularly hard hit as they are more likely to be working in affected industries, and in the UK alone, one-third of those aged between 18 and 24 have lost their jobs or been placed on temporary support schemes with no guarantee of a return to regular employment - more than any other age bracket.

You can find out more about COVID Cash recovery, here