Happy New Year readers, and we hope you enjoy our latest blog entry to toast in 2019! This month we’re sharing the story of Samantha*, a Moneywise Plus participant who succeeded in progressing into education after receiving help from the project. We asked her about her experience of working with Moneywise Plus.
What was your situation before you joined us as a participant on Moneywise Plus?
I was not in employment and found that very difficult, I suffer from mental health issues and this presented a barrier to me being able to work. In the past I had worked as a midwife. I didn’t feel ready to go back into full-time employment at this point in time but was interested in re-training and returning to education.
How did you come to be involved with the project?
I was referred to the project by the Community Advice and Law Service (CALS), in order to access money management advice and develop financial skills.
What activities did you do on the project? Did they help you?
I attended appointments with an advisor who showed me how to build a budget. This was not something I had done before, and I found the process really useful because it allowed me to understand incomings and outgoings and make informed decisions about the money I was spending. This increased my confidence with organising bills and reduced my stress, which meant that I had more motivation and capacity to look for education opportunities. We also looked at creating online accounts for banking and utilities, which enabled me to have greater control over my bills by being able to change details and look at bills online. This was very helpful to me because some days I am so unwell that I cannot leave the house, so being able to manage accounts online from my own home means that I can still keep up to date with my bills and ensure that I don’t go into debt again.
How has your situation changed since you joined Moneywise Plus?
I am pleased to share that I am now enrolled on a course, which I have started with an education provider. I am exploring the possibility of moving on to a university course next year and am feeling much more positive about the future. My mental health is still a problem but I’m learning to manage it: improving my confidence, getting back into education and learning to regain control of my money has all contributed to this.
What did you think of the project?
I felt supported, and particularly liked that there was an expectation that I would learn to take control of my own finances rather than this being done for me by an agency. The project has definitely brought me closer to achieving my education goals.
Would you or someone you know like to develop financial and digital skills and become ready for employment, education or training? Our project may be able to help you. Find out if you’re eligible by completing the referral form on our website, or call us on 0300 003 7004.
*The participant’s name has been changed to protect their identity.