In the UK, millions of people live in debt. When the fund was launched in 2017, each citizen owed an average of £3,730 (excluding mortgages) and more than 16 million had less than £100 in savings - far too little to cope with the potential 'shocks' of unexpected expenditure or job loss.
This is an area in which social action is well placed to assist; with skilled volunteers able to help local people with the support, knowledge and tools they need to save for the future and become debt free. Giving people the skills to better plan and manage their finances can help them avoid debt and balance their budgets.
People powered approaches to financial well-being are not intended as a panacea for financial inequality and poverty, however, utilising the time and talents of citizens to provide both formal and informal help to others can shift power structures, increase the value of relationships, and ultimately lead to better outcomes for all.
We supported five organisations seeking to scale social action approaches to improve money management skills and reduce debt for individuals and families in England.
Across the fund, almost 9,000 people were supported to take action to improve their financial wellbeing.
A selection of impacts for each organisation were as follows:
Find out what we learned while running the programme: