Financial Resilience

Financial Resilience in the Black Country

In November 2017, 60 people gathered for a Standing in the Gaps event to explore the impact of Universal Credit.  We worked with colleagues at Birmingham Churches Together, Thrive Together Birmingham, Sandwell Churches Link and Black Country Churches Engaged.

TCT put together a presentation to help people understand:

  1. What Universal Credit is
  2. How people can get ready
  3. How to get extra support

We then shared this with JFF and it has now been downloaded by over 100 organisations - www.cuf.org.uk/news/getting-ready-for-universal-credit

Many churches are actively involved in responding to issues of poverty in a variety of different ways as well as practical generosity and acts of kindness, churches can organise their engagement by adopting several different programmes.

TCT (our partnership with Church Urban Fund) has employed Revd Cassius Francis as Just Finance Black Country Worker to support churches and other groups building financial resilience. Read more here.

We work with churches and other community groups across the Black Country (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton) in partnership with the Diocese of Worcester.Our aim is to empower those on low-income to build their financial capability, and to increase the supply of fair and affordable finance. We are a core part of Transforming Communities Together (www.tctogether.org.uk) and we partner nationally with the Just Finance Foundation.

Cassius Francis joined the Transforming Communities Together team in February 2018 and is here to help with financial capability issues by:

  • Meeting you, listening and assessing the opportunities in your local community
  • Helping your church engage with the theology of money
  • Helping your church engage with your local credit union
  • Teaching your church to run Cash Smart Credit Savvy – a short, informal (typically one day 10am -4pm training the trainers course) introduction to budgeting skills and saving delivered through five modules 1. Spending Savvy 2. Building a Budget 3. Credit Cards & Loans 4. Debt 5. Savings. This allows you to then customise this material to your context, supporting people 1 to 1, in small groups or with courses
  • Delivering a 2-hour UC Savvy presentation to your church and community.This session is designed to help people to 1. Understand what Universal Credit is 2. Understand how to get ready for Universal Credit 3. Know where to get help with Universal Credit
  • Future activities include a financial education programme for primary schools, giving children the knowledge, skills and attitudes to manage money well with a LifeSavers CPD a (September 2018); an employability conference for Black (African Caribbean, African and dual heritage) young people and their parents in partnership with University of Wolverhampton and Wesleyan Holiness Church to include a workshop on financial capability by Pentecostal Credit Union (February 2019); and a project with Black Country Chamber of Commerce Black Country Chamber of Commerce to promote payroll savings and the local credit unions.

Cassius is working with partners across the region, including the Diocese of Lichfield and Worcester, Black Country Chamber of CommerceSandwell Churches Linkwhg housing association and credit unions - Castle & Crystal, Six Towns, Walsave and Wolverhampton City Credit Union, supported by local and national charities.

Contact details for Cassius Francis

cassius.francis@tctogether.org.uk

07891 611760