The Savings and Credit Pathfinders Programme – evaluation report

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Many people who need help with their money are unaware of, unable or unwilling to receive support. Evidence suggests that people can be effectively reached and engaged with money help through other familiar channels and systems.

Our Savings and Credit Pathfinders Programme aimed to design and explore ways to do this in practice and at scale, funding twelve projects across three workstreams:

  1. Money Supporters: increasing the reach of money support services to those who need it, by training the frontline practitioners who already engage with those people, so they are better able and more confident to deliver money guidance.
  2. Local Community Partnerships: increasing the reach of money support services to those who need it, through community-based organisations who understand and already engage with those people, and co-ordinated by a lead partner.
  3. Youth Checkpoints: increasing access to money support services for young people by embedding money guidance within existing support, at key transition points to financial independence.

Key findings

Our programme has demonstrated that those in need of money help can be successfully reached with money support by co-ordinating provision and systems that already exist, by embedding support in services that people already use, and by training trusted practitioners that people already know – with co-design at its heart: working with users and practitioners to design and deliver activity that is engaging and relevant.

How to use this evaluation

We hope these findings will be useful for any policymakers, funders or delivery organisations who want to include money support as part of a holistic offer in their existing provision.

Pathfinders project overview

A summary of the 12 Pathfinders is provided in the table below:

Money Supporters Pathfinders
Shelter England Provision of training to upskill frontline staff working with offenders, ex-offenders and their families to improve the effectiveness of financial advisory support and understand how to effectively support practitioners working in complex settings.
Shelter Scotland Development and delivery of a training package for practitioners engaged in homelessness and housing issues.
Hafal (Wales) Delivery of training to practitioners engaging with people affected by mental health issues.
NIACRO (Northern Ireland) Development of financial training for practitioners engaging with parents so that they are confident and comfortable in initiating conversations about money matters.
LCP Pathfinders
Birmingham City Council Building on the city’s existing multi-agency Financial Inclusion Partnership (FIP), the Pathfinder has engaged existing community-based organisations to improve signposting and awareness of financial capability within disadvantaged communities.
Improvement service (Scotland) A multifaceted Pathfinder aiming to improve the financial capability of employees across the Local Authority area through the delivery of roadshows for employees, an employee financial wellbeing survey and delivery of workshops to lone parents to better understand their money support needs.
Carmarthenshire (Wales) The Pathfinder aimed to develop a more coordinated approach to signposting and promoting better savings for the financially struggling and squeezed (both employed and unemployed), and for target groups including residents of Registered Social Landlords and families. As a result of the Covid-19 outbreak causing pressures on organisational capacity, the Pathfinder did not progress.
Newry Credit Union (Northern Ireland) The Pathfinder aimed to support and encourage the ‘just about managing’ or ‘squeezed’ to set aside funds to provide a buffer for unforeseen circumstances. The Pathfinder used a ‘community navigator’ role to act as a gateway into community-based support and engage businesses and residents in savings schemes.
Youth Checkpoints Pathfinders
MyBnk (England) The Pathfinder used existing links within MyBnk and The Mix to attract and engage with young people through a multi-channel delivery, including an e-learning course, an online ‘Money Hub’, a financial health check tool and ‘my Moneycast’ livestream videos.
Young Scot The Pathfinder targeted young adults moving from education into work to raise awareness of and signpost to financial information via an online landing page, social media engagement and ‘CashChats’ videos.
ProMo–Cymru The Pathfinder targeted young people entering the workplace (including apprenticeships) through a predominantly digital approach including ‘Train the Trainer’ sessions, a trial of a hotline for handling financial issues and draft webpages.
Reed in Partnership (Northern Ireland) The Pathfinder helped young adults in Northern Ireland to access money advice when entering the workplace and accessing Universal Credit (UC). The Pathfinder aimed to increase awareness of organisations providing free-to-access money, employment and youth development services, and train practitioners working with young adults.