Since 2016, The Worshipful Company of International Bankers has been working with School-Home Support (SHS) to support the education of disadvantaged children across London.
There is an increasing need for support when it comes to financial literacy among families, and SHS and the Worshipful Company of International Bankers wanted to collaborate to address this. In October 2017, we began working together to shape a project that ensures SHS Family Support Practitioners are trained and equipped with up-to-date information to help families with financial literacy and economic well-being. Our data shows that 15.7% of all interventions delivered by practitioners relate to economic well-being. For 13 practitioners, this is the highest area of interventions they deliver.
The need for support with financial literacy and economic well-being continues to grow in the UK; a report published by University College London in March 2018 highlighted the worryingly low levels of financial literacy among families. This often results in a range of problems, such as families taking out loans without fully understanding the interest rate, being unable to budget effectively, and falling behind on regular payments.Some of the areas that are particularly vital for families include universal credit; benefits; debt management; budgeting and banking.
The project involves developing bespoke training and creating an Economic Well-being Toolkit for practitioners in order to ensure families are provided with the best support possible. The first year of the project has received very positive feedback and has made a big difference in the lives of many families.
“A high percentage of the families I support face issues with economic well-being, mainly as they are unemployed or in low-paid employment. The toolkit is a great guide to refer to, especially as the benefits system often changes (as we all know). The Economic Well-being Toolkit is vital in supporting my families and it has really made a big difference to their lives.
I don’t know what I ever did without it now!” – Paula Chin, SHS Practitioner
Following the successful first year of the project, SHS and The Worshipful Company of International Bankers are now looking to build on what we have developed and learned to provide even better support to families. This will be achieved by updating and expanding the information contained in the Economic Well-being Toolkit, as the often short-lasting nature of the information means it needs regular updating. We will also focus on making the toolkit more easily accessible and searchable online. Additionally, it is vital that practitioners receive up-to-date training on financial topics which affect families, which will be supported by The Worshipful Company of International Bankers.
“Many of the families we support struggle under the pressure of managing finances, and often get themselves into situations which are difficult to escape. Changes in benefits, universal credit and the constant struggle to keep up with payments are issues families find difficult. SHS Practitioners are pretty much the only people they can turn to when things get difficult. It is wonderful to have support from The Worshipful Company of International Bankers to make sure they can provide really effective support. Thank you.” – Kim Steward, SHS Economic Wellbeing Coordinator