There is a lot in the media at the moment about the need for financial education. Much of this follows recent research by the Money Advice Service. It showed that one in five adults lack confidence about personal finance, while a third feels uncomfortable talking about money. 16% of people struggle to read and understand their bank statement and 25% don't do any financial planning.
A recent Channel 4 report has highlighted the worries that people have about paying their fuel bills. In 2011, according to the latest figures available, just under 2.4m households in England were struggling to meet their fuel bills. The charity Barnado's said it would continue to leave families "forced to make choices between heating the home and putting hot food on the table." Link to Full Article - http://www.channel4.com/news/fuel-poverty-gap-widens?
Our hope is that these statistics will help to further inform diocesan offices and churches about the contexts in which they work and the particular issues faced by their local and regional communities.
Council house tenants in Nottingham owe more than £2m in rent. Nottingham City Homes says half of its tenants owe money and the number is rising rapidly, with £700,000 in arrears built up in only three months. Click here to read the Nottingham Evening Post Article.
Transforming Notts Together are delighted to be helping a group of voluteers from different churches in Mansfield to set up a new debt service for Mansfield. It will be known as FreeDM - Free Debt Advice, Mansfield.
A total of 9 volunteers are alreday involved with the project. We are partnering with the charity Community Money Advice to provide this service, which we hope will open towards the end of 2013.
At a recent meeting with the DWP, I was signposted to this tool, which gives organisations the most up to date information on Universal Credit.
I thought that this would be helpful to others, so I'm sharing the link to the tool here.
Harvest celebrations may be far from your thoughts right now but we just want to let you know that Church Urban Fund resources for Harvest will be available on our website from 15th August.
Harvest means different things in different congregations. Whether you are in a rural parish, with the fruits of the earth all around you, or in the city or suburbs, for all of us it can be a time to reflect on the food we receive as gifts of God. A time, too, to think about sharing with those in need.
In May the New Economic Foundation released its Interim Report for the Near Neighbours Programme. This report was based of data collected during the summer of the programmes second year, taken from a combination of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Its findings show that “at this interim stage we can see reliable quantitative indicators of the enhanced commitment to neighbourhood improvement, and self-belief, among those who populate the growing [Near Neighbours] network.