Innovation Grants – toolkits and resources

The Money Advice Trust’s Innovation Grants programme has funded innovative debt advice projects, aiming to improve the quality and range of money advice in the UK.

One of the ways we do this is by sharing successful practice from funded projects. We are pleased to present a series of resources and toolkits, featuring practical examples of innovation in debt and money advice.

The Mary Ward Legal Centre - Enabling ESOL clients to improve their financial health

The Mary Ward Legal Centre have created and piloted six training sessions and materials aimed at building the financial health of adults who have English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL).

Learning for the sector in working with ESOL clients and further details on project activities, including the evaluation of course impacts, are included in the Mary Ward Legal Centre’s project report. This is particularly helpful for agencies considering utilising the resources and/or already working with ESOL clients.

To view the resources and lesson guides please click here.

Mencap Liverpool - Easy Money (#easy£)

Easy Money has worked with people who have mild learning disability (PWLD) and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), helping them to tackle their debts and improve their financial health in the long term.

The project has developed an eight-week workshop series to build beneficiaries’ capabilities. Alongside the workshops, 1-2-1 support has been available to enable individuals to embed the learning and take practical steps to improve their situations.

Through active user involvement, the project has developed a range of resources for debt advice agencies which can be accessed here.

Citizens Advice Manchester – WhatsApp Money Advice and Casework Development Project

The project has tested and developed the delivery of money / debt advice utilising WhatsApp, as a platform for:

  • a 24/7 digital access channel;
  • a follow-up channel for advice and casework; and
  • a ‘keeping in touch’ system to help clients stay on track and keep in contact at their convenience.

An overview of how the service worked is here.

A summary of the project evaluation is here.

As a benefit to the wider sector, the following resources have been developed:

  • a learning document, for organisations / managers considering adopting WhatsApp as part of their advice services.
  • a user manual and training video, for frontline advisers who will be engaging with clients via WhatsApp.

Behaviour Change – Nudging by Design

Behaviour Change, with input from the Money Advice Trust and partner housing associations, designed and produced client focused tools which aim to enhance the engagement and advice process.

Behaviour Change image

The toolkit presenting the tools, allows other organisations to incorporate the principles of behaviour economics and the physical tools into their context.

The design files to any of the tools within the toolkit can be requested from Behaviour Change.

Affinity Housing, one of the housing associations who tested the toolkit, saw a 20% rise in their clients taking actions as a result of introducing the nudge techniques alongside their telephone support. Our own mini pilot of introducing nudging text messages when our advisers at National Debtline contact people about DROs resulted in a ‘no contact rate’ is down by 7%.

Better Money Behaviours Toolkit

This toolkit aims to help advisers in housing associations frame money advice in a positive way to increase engagement with their tenants. It is the result of research exploring how behavioural insight can be applied to Housing Association work on financial inclusion.

The document is divided into three sections:

  • Insights gained into the people they are trying to reach
  • 12 general principles for engaging them
  • Ideas for practical interventions

The resource has been developed by the London Housing Financial Inclusion Group.

Future Money

This toolkit is based on an Innovation Grants funded project which achieved many successful outcomes for Talking Money and their service users, including a 45% reduction in repeat visits for debt advice.

The toolkit is designed to help other organisations develop a standalone financial capability service, or to combine financial capability with an existing service, for example a debt advice service or a service for those entering their first tenancy.

It is written with a view to creating a more holistic journey for service users.
The modules provide a framework for delivering financial capability sessions to individuals or groups, and can be used as a starting point for organisations wishing to deliver or develop their own service. Please note, some of the schemes and resources mentioned are specific to Talking Money’s local area (Bristol) so may need adapting to suit a particular piece of work.