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Saving for the future: new funds to help young people and families to better manage their money

  • £1 million of grant funding shared by five organisation tackling debt
  • Nesta and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport champion social action to improve financial resilience

Five not-for-profit organisations in England have today received funding from the £1 million Savers Support Fund to help young people and families better manage their money and reduce debt. Run by innovation foundation Nesta and funded by Department for Culture Media and Sport, the grant funding will help scale proven social action models to reach more people.

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. 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 loss(1).

The projects announced today draw on the time and talents of citizens to work alongside government interventions that offer support. The five initiatives expand on transformative work of financial support organisations like MyBnk and Money Advice Service to help more individuals and families in England build monetary resilience.

Each Savers Support Fund grantee has received between £150,000-£250,000 to grow, franchise or replicate their initiatives, along with non-financial support. They are:

  • Christians Against Poverty - £212,796 - this debt counselling charity runs an eight-week course, CAP Life Skills. Run by volunteers, it provides people with the skills required to manage household needs and to live on a low income, along with relationship support and helping to form positive habits.
  • Onside Youth Zones - £201,355 - the youth centre network charity has developed Able to Manage (ATM), which is a 10-week money management programme. Delivered one-to-one by volunteer mentors to young people, it will help users make better financial decisions and develop the skills required for independent living.
  • Purple Shoots Business Lending Ltd - £173,214 - this microfinance company has set up eight Self Reliant Groups (SRGs), aimed at people who are marginalised and isolated in communities. The SRG’s bring together small groups of people to develop skills and confidence in an atmosphere of mutual trust and support, and to develop income-generating ideas which will help transform their lives.
  • Toynbee Hall - £239,588 - this innovative social welfare charity, runs a 12-week accredited course, Community Money Mentor, to teach a range of money management skills. Once trained, volunteers go on to share information learned with others through one-to-one sharing and community events. A selection of volunteers will also receive ‘Teach It’ training, which allows them to then take up paid roles to deliver the Community Money Mentor training themselves.
  • Your Own Place CIC - £168,056 - an organisation focused on reducing youth homelessness, its Volunteer Tenancy Mentoring programme pairs young people (16-25) primarily care leavers, with trained volunteer mentors and local businesses. The pairs meet every one to two weeks over the course of a year to help develop confidence in seeking employment, looking after their own home, and transitioning into adulthood.

Sarah McLoughlin, Programme Manager at Nesta, commented: “Building financial competencies in young people and families is essential to developing resilience and to allow people to be better prepared for the financial shocks and changes that affect us all. Through their innovative approaches and bold plans for scaling, these five projects are taking significant steps to tackle the widespread issue of debt. They are already making an impact but have huge potential to do more - whether it’s reaching new geographies or mobilising a whole new set of volunteers to help people in their communities.”

Nesta and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have a strong legacy in supporting social action to augment public services, and this programme is a part of £7 million of grant awards currently live. Projects will be supported over the next year and a half and progress will be shared on an ongoing basis via the Nesta website.


For more information contact Anna Zabow in Nesta’s press office on: 020 7438 2616/2543,  [email protected]

Full case studies are available online here, images and interviews are available on request.

Notes to Editors

  1. Money Advice Service (2016), ‘Low savings levels put millions at financial risk

About Nesta: Nesta is a global innovation foundation. We back new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time, making use of our knowledge, networks, funding and skills. We work in partnership with others, including governments, businesses and charities. We are a UK charity that works all over the world, supported by a financial endowment. To find out more visit

Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833.