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Volunteers helped over 200,000 people benefit from local money management sessions

27 June 2012

Two thirds of people attending money management sessions run by Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) volunteers felt more confident about handling their finances as a result, new research has shown*.

Nearly half said they would now open a savings account and one in four said they will change how they save money. Plus 27% said they planned to set up a budget to help them manage their money and 22% said they would change how they plan for future spending.

Over the last three years more than 1,700 CAB volunteers have been involved in running money management sessions in their communities, helping people get to grips with their finances. This was part of the MoneyActive programme in England and Wales which received £3 million of funding from Nationwide Building Society.

The MoneyActive sessions aimed to equip people with the skills, knowledge and understanding to budget, borrow and save with confidence, and to avoid unmanageable debt. The volunteers have reached groups of employees facing redundancy, young mothers, and people with learning difficulties. They also trained frontline workers such as children’s centre workers, tenant advisers and mental health workers so they could share the knowledge and training where they work. It is estimated that the benefits of the training reached over 200,000 over the three year project.

As well as the interactive sessions, people have sought money advice online with over 4.4 million visits to the money management pages of the Citizens Advice website Adviceguide, which were updated as part of the MoneyActive programme to include interactive self-help tools and content on budgeting, borrowing, saving and banking – www.adviceguide.org.uk

Nearly half of the visits to the online money pages were people looking for help with debt and over one in 10 sought advice on their mortgage problems.

There will be a legacy from the three year project with more than 70% of MoneyActive bureaux set to continue to provide money management sessions.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

”For many people, money is tighter now than ever before so we’re really pleased to have helped so many people get to grips with their finances and find ways of saving money. It’s also great to have lots of volunteers who have the training and knowledge in money management who, for years to come, will be able to prevent many people getting into difficulties with money.”

Graeme Hughes Group Director, Human Resources, Customer Experience and Corporate Affairs, Nationwide Building Society: said:

“The MoneyActive volunteers have made a real difference in their communities by boosting the financial capability of over 200,000 people over the last three years. We are very proud to partner Citizens Advice in its groundbreaking work to prevent debt and the harm it causes individuals and society.”

*The research is an evaluation of the three year MoneyActive project which surveyed participants and trainers

Notes to editors:

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at adviceguide.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  5. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014  service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.