Money Advice Referral Tools
GMPA believes that responses to poverty should focus on getting more money into people’s pockets. That’s why one of our strategic priorities is to support local efforts to boost household income and financial resilience.
A “cash-first” approach to local welfare, and an “advice first” approach to other support services is key to this.
GMPA plans to co-produce Money Advice Referral Tools in six boroughs of Greater Manchester. The tools will describe all the places that people can go for advice and other income maximisation support. The aim is to help people get all the money that they are entitled to, and to reduce the need for referrals to food banks, by increasing referrals to other kinds of support.
The Money Advice Referral Tools have been piloted in Tameside and Oldham.
Please let us know if you’re using a Money Advice Referral Tool – you can also use this link to request hard copies.
ICF Consulting Services have been contracted by Greater Manchester Poverty Action (GMPA) to undertake an evaluation of the Money Advice Referral Tool pilots. This will provide formative, insightful and useful learning on the implementation of the tool; and help to quantify any changes in referral patterns and service user outcomes resulting from the use of the tool. This is important inform both the continued roll-out of the approach and decision making on whether, and how best, to scale-up or transfer the approach elsewhere.
ICF require your help and co-operation
in filling out this short survey
to record how you are using the tool. This should take 5-10 minutes
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.