Money Matters – over £300,000 for local families!

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By Daniel Oliver, Head of Programmes at Greater Manchester Poverty Action (GMPA)
GMPA’s Money Matters programme has so far helped families across Trafford, Manchester, Stockport and Rochdale to gain more than £300,000 in household income.
Our Money Matters programme launched in June 2022 and has gone from strength to strength, working with Kellogg’s and Citizens Advice to deliver debt and benefit advice in and via local schools to reach those who would not otherwise access advice and support services.
Originally launching in Trafford, the programme has since expanded to include delivery in schools in Manchester, Stockport and Rochdale.
Our Financial Inclusion Officers, Manjeet McCartney, Rob Taylor and Sabah Noreen have been pro-active in promoting and delivering debt and benefit advice for local families. This has involved attending school events as well as engaging with community activities and services, including Stockport Family Hubs and school uniform swap shops.
Here are some examples of how Money Matters has made a difference for local families:
  • Emma had recently lost her job and had applied for Universal Credit. She shared that she had always worked and never needed benefits before. Emma believed that Universal Credit was the only support that she was eligible for, yet a benefit check found that she was also entitled to Council Tax Support. Money Matters successfully helped her to apply for this, as well as for a one-off payment of £49 for her gas meter. In total, Emma is better off by £901.44 per year.
  • Chloe is a single mum living with her young daughter in a private rented property. She wanted a benefit check as she was struggling with the cost of living and wanted to see what help and support may be available. She shared that she would not have gone to other support services but that she had seen Money Matters at her daughter’s school and wanted to check her options. Chloe had a £900 debt with her energy supplier and was supported with a grant to pay off most of this. Chloe shared that she was “incredibly grateful” for the support of Money Matters and that it had meant she was now on an affordable payment plan to clear the rest of the debt.
  • Steven was unable to afford a new washing machine and had unsuccessfully applied for a grant from a local charity. Money Matters supported him to apply to a welfare provision scheme funded by the Household Support Fund (HSF) as he was in receipt of eligible benefits, and he was subsequently successful in receiving a washing machine.
  • Aaliyah approached Money Matters as she and her husband were on legacy benefits and living in a housing association property with three children, one of whom is living with disabilities. The family were struggling with the cost of living and a benefit check found that they would be better off by migrating to Universal Credit rather than remaining on legacy benefits. This primarily related to the housing element of Universal Credit and non-dependent deductions, as well as the additional carers element on Universal Credit. The family successfully applied for these changes and are now better off by £321 per month, or £3852 per year.
After jointly hosting a Parliamentary roundtable event earlier this year with Kellogg’s, we are now working with other local authorities and corporate partners to continue expansion of Money Matters. Please contact us if you would like to know more or if you are interested in bringing Money Matters to your community, by emailing daniel@gmpovertyaction.org.

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This article is featured in our 12 June newsletter.

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i3oz9sMoney Matters – over £300,000 for local families!