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Santander Foundation local Citizens Advice grants

Background and headline achievements

This was a one off grants fund made available by the Santander Foundation to local Citizens Advice in England and Wales for 2011/12.

The overall aim of the fund was to increase the skills and experience of local Citizens Advice in delivering high quality group financial capability training to people in greatest need, and the frontline workers who support them.

Grant awards were made to groups of local offices working together to deliver financial capability. The focus was on more experienced offices supporting those with less or no experience of financial capability. This supported the strategic aim of the service to develop sustainable coverage for the delivery of financial capability group training throughout England and Wales.

The final report [Word 300 kb] shows that overall this funding had very significant impact on the delivery of financial capability within the service and was a very welcome enhancement to local office activity.

The collaborative approach of the project maximised the number of people reached, and the overall achievements against the targets are impressive:

  • 1,366 individuals directly trained.
  • 678 frontline workers directly trained, passing on the information to an estimated 9,630 additional people in the 12 months following the training.
  • Total reach of in excess of 11,500 people.
  • 88 new financial capability trainers in local Citizens Advice.

Profile of people receiving training

  • Grant awards were made in areas evidencing higher financial exclusion including Liverpool, the North East, rural Suffolk, the South West (Devon), East Kent, and Stoke on Trent. (Full list below.)
  • 58 per cent of beneficiaries were female and 42 per cent male (a relatively high proportion given the typical predominance of women in this type of training).
  • 18 per cent of beneficiaries self-reported as disabled.
  • Eight per cent were from communities other than White British.
  • Frontline workers receiving training were from a wide range of community based organisations including parent and family support, offender support, housing providers, young people agencies and disabled people’s organisations.

“The key success has been that the office has learned how to reach communities that face disadvantage, i.e. dedicated campaigns to raise awareness within BAME communities, older people’s groups, single health groups, domestic abuse services, and women’s groups.”

South Liverpool CAB

Outcomes following training

Individuals trained

  • Before the session, 44 per cent of individuals said they felt confused and worried or lacked confidence to manage money and debt.
  • Following the session, 86 per cent of individuals said that the session had been helpful.  Half of these said that they felt much better about managing money and debt, and had lots of ideas to help them.
  • Over 2,000 actions were identified by individuals as a result of the training sessions.  The most popular of these were to review spending and/or set up a budget.  Other popular actions included finding a cheaper supplier, finding out whether they could increase their income, and getting help to manage debts.

Frontline workers trained

  • Before the session, 50 per cent of frontline workers said that they had little knowledge to help clients with personal finances and often felt quite confused or lacked confidence.
  • Following the session, 92 per cent of frontline workers said they had learnt quite a lot or a lot and had some new ideas, and/or felt more confident and better able to support their clients.  
  • Frontline workers expected to use their learning from the course to help an average of at least 26 people each in the year after the training.

Programme legacy and sustainability

  • Over £50,000 was generated during the life of the project through additional funding, in kind support, and donation of resources which otherwise the service would not have received.
  • The project trained 88 new financial capability trainers in local offices, with the majority saying that they would continue to support the office beyond the life of the programme.
  • All seventeen of the participating local offices have confirmed that they will continue delivering financial capability; including ten that had previously had no involvement.
  • By delivering to more hard to reach communities, local Citizens Advice were able to raise awareness of the wider services that the network provides and facilitate appropriate referrals in to advice.
  • Offices strengthened their collaborative working and improved their profile with local authorities and other stakeholders in the community.  

“The partnership has enabled us to launch financial capability training out in our community.  We are more aware of the need for such training.  Financial Capability is also an excellent marketing medium for raising the profile of the office.”

Mid Suffolk Citizens Advice

Final report

Local office involvement

Following a very competitive application process, six partnerships were successful:

Local office giving supportLocal office receiving support
Bury St Edmunds Ipswich
Mid Suffolk
Darlington East Durham
Redcar and Cleveland
Exeter East Devon
South Hams
West Devon
North Liverpool Garston
Stoke on Trent Biddulph
Newcastle and Kidsgrove
Swale Ashford
Dover, Deal and District
Thanet District