Latest news – June 15th, 2022
The high level of inflation on essential goods and services is forcing more and more people into a financial crisis that can leave them facing impossible choices on what expenditure to cut back on. GMPA believes that the most effective way to address this locally is to that people are given access to relevant advice and support that can help maximise their income. For example, in Greater Manchester alone approximately 36,000 qualifying households are not claiming pension credit that would give them an additional average of around £1,950 a year, often because people are simply unaware they are eligible for it.
However, for many frontline organisations helping people dealing with poverty, information on where to refer people for appropriate support and advice is not always easy to find. The Money Advice Referral Tool (MART) aims to help these organisations by simplifying the process and putting the key information at their fingertips.
MART has already been piloted in Tameside and Oldham and has been positively received.
Jon Sands, Programme Officer
GMPA is continuing to work with these areas to develop the MART further, and to expand the number of organisations using the tool. Funding from the Trussell Trust is allowing us both to continue to work with the pilot areas and to develop the MART elsewhere.
Building on the experience from these pilots, borough specific versions of the Money Advice Referral Tool are now beginning to be developed in four more areas of Greater Manchester – Wigan, Bury, Trafford and Manchester. Partnerships have been established in each borough bringing together representatives from the councils, local foodbanks and the wider the voluntary sector together with individuals who have recent lived experience of poverty. Each of these partnership groups will draft a version of the MART that meets the specific needs of their area will identify the key local support that can be provided.
Organisations who may wish to use the MARTs will then be consulted about the content of the tool before they are formally launched and distributed – we expect the launches to take place in each of the four boroughs by autumn of this year. The partnerships in each borough will then continue to meet regularly to ensure that each of these MARTs remain up to date and relevant to the key issues faced in each borough.