About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Savers Support Fund grantees announced

It is estimated that more than 16 million people in the UK have less than £100 in savings, making it near impossible to cope with unexpected costs or job losses. Support and advice around financial management and debt advice is needed now more than ever, but we also need to look at new ways to tackle this problem and move towards a society more capable of managing the sudden financial shocks that affect us all.

Financial planning is an area in which social action is well placed to assist; with skilled volunteers able to help local people build the skills, knowledge and tools they need to save for the future and become debt free.

In February 2017, Nesta and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport launched the Savers Support Fund to help young people and families better manage their money and reduce debt. We have now awarded grants of up to £250,000 to five organisations with ambitious and innovative plans to scale.

The projects announced today draw on the time and talents of citizens to work alongside government interventions that offer support. Projects will be supported over the next year and a half, and progress will be shared on an ongoing basis via the project timeline.

Christians Against Poverty - CAP Life Skills

Christians Against Poverty was awarded £212,796

Christians Against Poverty are passionate about releasing people from a life sentence of debt and poverty, and the causes that lead to these situations. Their centres are run through local churches, so that every service can remain personal and allow communities to tackle the needs they see around them.

CAP Life Skills is an eight-week course providing beneficiaries with the skills to budget and manage competing household needs, as well as how to think through relationships and forming positive habits. The course runs alongside a supportive peer-to-peer community, which enables the members to benefit from support from others with similar experiences.

The funding is to be used to scale its reach to 69 new locations (from 56 to 125), with the help of over 500 volunteers in roles that will support 1,000 beneficiaries.

OnSide Youth Zones - Able to Manage

OnSide Youth Zones have been awarded £201,355

OnSide is a national charity that creates 21st century ‘Youth Zones’ for young people aged 8-19, and up to 25 for those with a disability. Youth Zones are purpose-built multi-million pound facilities in towns and cities across the UK, open seven days per week for just 50p per visit. Through their network of Youth Zones, OnSide provide over 35,000 young people with somewhere safe and inspiring to go in their leisure time, with activities on offer from sports, arts, dance, music and drama to employability, enterprise and mentoring schemes.

The Able to Manage (ATM) programme is a 10 week money management programme for young people that will be delivered 1:1 by volunteer mentors. The course will cover a broad range of topics including budgeting and enterprise.

ATM supports young people to improve their financial resilience, be able to make better financial decisions, and help them to develop skills required for successful independent living.

The funding is to be used to scale the programme to nine locations, mobilising 360 volunteers and impacting the lives of over 300 young people to improve confidence, financial resilience, knowledge of money management and the ability to transition successfully into adulthood.

Purple Shoots Business Lending - Self-Reliant Groups

Purple Shoots have been awarded £174,214

Purple Shoots is a microfinance company who have set up a series of eight local Self Reliant Groups (or SRG’s). SRG’s are popular in India and Uganda, but are quite new to the UK.

These groups aim to help their members develop skills and confidence in an atmosphere of mutual trust and support, and to develop income-generating ideas which will help transform their lives.

SRG’s are aimed at the most marginalised and isolated people in communities, often struggling with a lack of confidence, low self-esteem and in financially difficult circumstances.

The funding is to be used to scale the programme to two new locations in England - Gloucester and Bristol - establishing 25 new SRG’s. Purple Shoots will work in partnership with WEvolution, based in Scotland, who are the UK leaders of the SRG movement and have many years experience of delivering and expanding this work.

250 participants will have increased confidence and self-esteem, start new businesses, enter employment or join training courses, leading to more involvement in their communities.

Toynbee Hall - Community Money Mentors

Toynbee Hall have been awarded £239,588​

Toynbee Hall is an innovative social welfare charity that has been working on the frontline in the struggle against poverty since 1884. Based in the East End of London, they give some of the UK’s most deprived communities a voice; providing access to free advice and support, and working together to tackle social injustice.

They support around 14,000 service users with strategic interventions that improve people’s financial health and capability, provide access to advice, and build a strong local community that helps people develop the skills and support they need to create a more sustainable future.

Community Money Mentor is a 12 week, accredited course that teaches volunteers key money management skills - such as budgeting, setting savings targets, identifying the best financial services, switching provider, and avoiding high cost credit - and supports them to share the information within their communities.

A selection of volunteers then go on to an accredited ‘Teach It’ course. Once completed, participants then take up paid roles to deliver the Community Money Mentor training themselves.

The funding is to be used to scale to four new locations in London, mobilising 400 new volunteers and impacting the lives of over 6,000 beneficiaries through 1:1 sharing with peers and at community events.

Your Own Place CIC - Volunteer Tenancy Mentoring

Your Own Place have been awarded £168,056​

Your Own Place is a social enterprise operating across Norfolk and Suffolk. Your Own Place equips young people with the skills, confidence and knowledge to live safely and securely. They achieve this by continually developing innovative and entrepreneurial solutions as well as collaborating for the benefit of their young people. By working restoratively and delivering high quality interventions, they create a culture of empowered and independent young people.

Your Own Place have worked with 100s of young people to develop their Tenancy & Independent Living Skills (TILS), provide Employment Support as well as Volunteer Tenancy Mentoring support.

The Volunteer Tenancy Mentoring programme matches young people aged 16-25 - primarily care leavers - with trained Volunteer Tenancy Mentors from the local community and local businesses.

The Volunteer Tenancy Mentors meet with the young people every 1-2 weeks over the course of at least a year, spending relaxed time together to develop their confidence with looking after their own home, looking for employment and managing the transition into adulthood. This may be achieved through structured conversations and other tools, where needed, to look at specific issues relating to money management, debt and paying bills.

The funding is to be used to scale the programme across Norfolk and into Suffolk, mobilising 260 volunteers and improving the lives of 170 young people.


Sarah Mcloughlin

Sarah Mcloughlin

Sarah Mcloughlin

Senior Programme Manager

Sarah was a Senior Programme Manager.

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