Welcome to our July 2019 post, in this instalment we’re hearing another participant story. Read on to find out about how our project helped Edward move towards his goals.


What was your situation before you joined us as a participant on Moneywise Plus?

I was experiencing a difficult time. I’m a refugee from Eritrea, and before working with Moneywise Plus I was homeless and living in supported accommodation. I was studying to improve my communication skills in English, which I hoped would help me get a job. I had no work history and was in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance for six months. Getting work was very important to me because I felt that gaining paid employment represented acceptance into my new community in the UK. The biggest barrier to me achieving this was my lack of permanent accommodation.

A steaming cup of coffee next to an unmade bed.

Finding a job is important to Edward as part of feeling at home in the UK.


How did you come to be involved with the project?

The Housing Support staff at my accommodation referred me to the project as part of my onwards progression from their service.


What activities did you do on the project? Did they help you?

I took part in one-to-one support, which I enjoyed and found enabling. I have definitely grown in confidence. I engaged in budgeting activities and learned how to take responsibility for my own accommodation, including making savings on my regular expenses.


How has your situation changed since you joined Moneywise Plus?

I’m pleased to tell you that I’m now established as a tenant in permanent accommodation and am learning barbering, which I have previous experience of. I am feeling very confident about my future and hope to move into paid employment soon. I still have some communication issues but my skills are growing all the time. I am feeling much more secure and confident about dealing with people and sorting out problems compared to how I was before accessing the project.

A barber shop pole and shaving brush.

Edward is training to become a barber.

What did you think of the project?

I found engaging with the project invaluable in making the move from supported accommodation to living independently. The one-to-one support was a huge benefit as I find it easier to communicate that way rather than in a group. Housing Support staff from the accommodation I lived in supported me, so I worked with people I was already familiar with.


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.