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How Moneywise Plus Helped Me: Charlotte

Greetings readers, we hope you’ve been enjoying all that lovely summer sunshine! Our July blog post is an opportunity for us to enjoy another story from a Moneywise Plus participant, this time we hear from Charlotte* who tells us about the experience she’s had of working with the project and the difference it has made on her life.


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

I am a single mother of two children, one of whom has severe disabilities. I am her main carer, so that prevented me from being able to work for the last several years due to my complex family schedule. I am a graduate, but worried that I would never be able to go back into skilled work because employers would be put off by my situation and the gap in my employment history. I lost confidence in my abilities and worried that my skills might not be valuable anymore. As a single parent and carer, I felt isolated, socially anxious and found it hard to see any value in myself. Making conversation with people outside my all-consuming family situation became really difficult.

'You got this' written on a pavement in chalk.

Charlotte regained her self-confidence and focus after participating in the Moneywise Plus programme.


How did you come to be involved with the project?

I heard about Moneywise Plus through my coordinator at Home-Start Horizons, a delivery partner on the project. They referred me to the project and offered me support and encouragement to attend the sessions with an advisor.


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

I first engaged with the Financial Routeway team, who were able to help me budget and manage my money more successfully. I then moved onto the Volunteer Routeway, which I really enjoyed attending. With the team there I was supported in creating a CV and personal statement; writing applications for jobs and volunteer opportunities, using email, and developing job searching skills. I found it a really positive experience that boosted my confidence and motivation to be involved in other things outside my family commitments. I regained confidence in my skills and learned new ones, too!


How has your situation changed since you joined Moneywise Plus?

Although I’m not seeking employment due to the ongoing care needs of my daughter, I have started a volunteering position on a local project, which I am really enjoying and lets me do something outside of the family. I feel empowered and uplifted, my self-confidence has improved and I’ve regained my focus. I’ve even started to decorate my house!


What did you think of the project?

I could not have achieved what I have and seen these benefits to myself and my family without the support I got from the project – thank you!


Would you or someone you know like to develop financial and digital skills and become work ready? 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.


Job-Hunting Tips: Write A Standout CV

Welcome to our June blog post readers, we hope you’re having a splendid summer so far! This month we’re sharing some great tips for writing a CV that will make you stand out from the crowd and catch the attention of recruiters.



So first of all, what should a good CV contain? Well CVs differ from person to person, but there are some common areas that you should cover which are as follows:

  • Personal and contact information
  • Personal statement
  • Work history/experience
  • Relevant skills
  • Education and qualifications
  • Interests, hobbies and achievements
  • References


Aim to keep your CV short and sweet: it should be no longer than two sides of A4. The writing style should be clear, concise and make every relevant point without waffling.

A man lookign through binoculars

Job searching can be tough, let Moneywise Plus help you write an attention-grabbing CV with our great tips.


Personal and Contact Information

Your CV should include some personal details and your contact information; you probably want these to be the first item on your CV so they’re easy for the recruiter to find. Details to provide include your:

  • First name and surname
  • Address
  • Mobile phone number
  • Email address
  • LinkedIn profile (if you have one)
  • Driving licence status




There’s no need to include personal details such as your date of birth, marital status or any dependants since these don’t affect your ability to do the job well. Questions from employers about your home situation are now either illegal or discouraged under the Equality Act 2010, so it’s best not to include those details at all. Likewise, if you’re applying for a job in the UK it’s best not to include a photograph of yourself: it occupies valuable space and doesn’t add anything to show how well you’ll perform in the role.


Personal Statement

The next part of your CV should be your personal statement, which is a brief and easy-to-digest paragraph comprising of 150 words or four to five lines. The purpose of the personal statement is to sum up the specific skills and experience that proves to prospective employers that you’re the best person for the job. It should answer the following questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What can you offer?
  • What are your career goals?


Recruiters often take mere seconds to look over a CV, so your personal statement presents a great opportunity to grab their attention from the start and convince them to read on.


Work History/Experience

Use this section to list your past periods of employment or any work experience you have gained, including internships and volunteering. Implement assertive and positive language, using verbs (doing words) such as ‘developed’, ‘achieved’ and ‘organised’. Relate the skills you’ve learned in work to the job role that you’re applying for. Make sure that you don’t leave any unexplained gaps in your employment history – if you’ve been out of work for a long time, be sure to paint it in a positive light and write about any courses studied, volunteer work undertaken or soft skills that you developed.


Relevant Skills

This short paragraph should list key skills that help you to stand out from the crowd. You can mention skills gained from hobbies and voluntary work, including soft skills (such as working in a team) and hard skills (for example, knowledge of a particular software package). It’s good practice to do some research on the company you’re applying to and work out what skills they value, which will influence what you choose to include on your CV.


Person looking at a map.

The Moneywise Plus Volunteer Routeway can help you become work-ready by helping you identify opportunities and builing your confidence.


Education and Qualifications

List your most recent or relevant qualifications first, so for example start with professional qualifications followed by your degree (if you have one), A Levels and then GCSEs.


Interests, Hobbies and Achievements

Utilise this part of your CV to make yourself sound interesting and highlight your diverse interests and skills.   Mention any positions of responsibility, experience of working in a team or using your own initiative. It’s best not to include generic or passive interests such as socialising with friends or watching TV; likewise it may also be a good idea to leave off solitary hobbies that might indicate a lack of social skills.



You should include two references, which should be from people who have employed you and that can vouch for your skills and experience. If you’ve never worked it’s acceptable to use a teacher or tutor as a reference.


That’s the content of the CV covered, so what other things do you need to consider?


CV Design

Your CV should be carefully and clearly presented and, if sent via post, should be printed on clean, white paper. Leave plenty of white space around text and between categories to make the document easy to look at. Use bullet points and keep sentences short and to the point.


Always Tailor Your CV

Before you apply to a job, always read the job description carefully and edit your CV so that it’s tailored to the requirements of that specific role. You should do this for every position that you apply for; sending generic CVs is a waste of time and won’t result in success. It is also a good idea to search for the job title of the role you’re applying for online and see what keywords are commonly mentioned, so that you can edit your CV to include them.


Final Tips

Last but not least, we leave you with some final words of advice:

  • Make sure that you update your CV regularly with new skills or experience that you have gained.
  • Always check your CV and application documents carefully for errors, including grammatical mistakes and typos.
  • If you can, back up your achievements with facts and figures (for example, ‘I succeeded in increasing sales by 20%’).
  • Don’t ever lie on your CV! It would be extremely awkward if you’re caught out at interview, and besides, no one wants to be fired from a new job for having been dishonest.


Are you over 16 years, eligible to live and work in the UK and currently not in employment? The Moneywise Plus project may be able to help you. We offer support and training to get you ready for the world of work, including completing job applications, developing volunteering skills and building your confidence. Find out more and discover if you’re eligible for our service on our website, or call us on 0300 003 700

Meet The Team: Kelly Smith

Hello once again readers, and welcome to our May blog post! Spring has well and truly sprung, and on the subject of fresh beginnings we’re chatting to Kelly Smith from the Community Advice and Law Service about all things financial. Is it time you gave your finances a spring clean?


What is your role at the Community Advice and Law Service (CALS) and with Moneywise Plus?

I’m the Team Leader of the Financial Routeway. I oversee the support provided by the financial team, which comprises the advisers and advisor administrator at CALS, as well as advisors at The Y and Action Homeless. I also have my own caseload of clients that I provide support to.

Photograph of Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith is on-hand to help develop your financial confidence!


What does CALS do? What is the mission of the organisation?

CALS is an advice agency specialising in debt advice. Almost all of the advisors here are specialists in their respective fields, and are trained to a high standard. The majority are Institute of Money Advisors (IMA) members and approved intermediaries for Debt Relief Orders (DROs), which is a form of insolvency that needs to be applied for through an accredited agency. Our provision includes a specialist benefits advice service that supports people with appeals and represents them at tribunals, as well as a dedicated court team who run an office at Leicester County Court and also offer representation. We have appointments and drop-in sessions for our form-filling service, which helps people apply for benefits including Employment Support Allowance (ESA). One of our specialist debt advisors is also a housing solicitor, so he’s able to deal with Legal Aid Agency cases. CALS is basically a one-stop shop for the community’s financial needs: we can see anyone based in Leicester and Leicestershire, there is no charge for our services and access is not means-tested.


Tell us about your work with Moneywise Plus.

Our work for Moneywise Plus is pre-emptive and pro-active. People usually come to us because of a change in circumstances and are looking for advice about how to manage their money with (for example) a reduced income. We aim to give people a degree of control over their finances, including household bills and utilities.


What services/support can you offer to Moneywise Plus participants?

A core service we offer is support with budgeting skills, as this enables participants to manage their finances so that they aren’t a source of stress for them. I’ve been working at CALS for 10 years now and throughout that time have seen a lot of the issues that money can cause, especially in relationships. Often the participant’s finances are a barrier to them thinking about what they want in the future in terms of employment, education and progression. By helping them to manage their money we can start to open up their thinking about what they actually want from life, and then support them in moving towards those goals.

The reception area at Community Advice and Law Service (CALS).

The reception area at Community Advice and Law Service (CALS).


What kind of problems do people come to see you about?

It’s very varied! We’ve already had people coming to us because they’re worried about the move to Universal Credit and how they’ll manage on a monthly income when they’re used to being paid fortnightly. They also know that the money for their rent will be paid to themselves rather than directly to their landlord, so there are a lot of concerns about that. Often we see people who are in debt and can’t see a way out of it: they realise that they’re spending more money than they’ve got coming in and know that they need to make a change, so a lot of these participants will look specifically at their household bills and find ways to adjust their spending. We do a lot of work around finding out exactly what the participant does spend, so that they can take ownership of it. We can then see what they’re not happy with and help them make some changes. On top of that we do a lot of charity applications: some of the advisors work with people who have just moved into a new tenancy and don’t have any furniture; we offer help with applying for grants to furnish their property so they feel secure in their home. Also, where people have gotten into arrears with different bills there may be grants we can help them apply for to give them a fresh start.


Why is it important for people to manage their finances effectively?

Mostly its so that they’re in control. A lot of the people we see have very complex lifestyles and lots going on, including health problems and family issues.  I think for a lot of people being able to have control over even one aspect of their life is a huge thing! It’s about knowing that regardless of what else is going on in your life, at least you’re in control of something. It’s also about knowing how they can make changes: so rather than just managing in their current situation they know how to budget, manage their finances and plan for anything that may happen in the future. For example, a client can look at the salary of a job they want to apply for, budget to figure out how much they’re going to have to live on and then decide whether they can afford their bills with that income. It means that they can make a more informed decision when taking on different challenges in life.

Industry awards in the CALS reception area.

Industry awards in the CALS reception area.


What are some of your biggest success stories?

For me the biggest successes are not necessarily the participants who achieve a lot in terms of monetary value, but rather those that really increase their confidence and gain a lot from our support personally. There is a client I’ve been working with since November 2016, which has been very difficult at points because his needs are very complex. In December 2017 he finally received a formal diagnosis, and the first thing he said to me was: ‘now I can start thinking about going back to college and getting a part time job, because I know how I can manage going forward.’ That was huge for him: no one wants to think that someone relatively young is destined for a lifetime on benefits, that they aren’t able to achieve anything else.

Another participant I’m supporting came to this country as a young child, and for many years lived in a council property with his parents and sister. His parents have since passed away and his sister has married and moved out, but he’s still living in the same three-bedroom house paying the recently introduced bedroom tax. He’s managed his bills to date but has never had to set anything up himself. There are a lot of changes happening in his life and he has some health problems, but he engages really well, takes on board all the advice we give him, and has put a huge amount of effort into changing his situation. The Moneywise Plus team have worked with him to get on the housing register and shown him how to bid on properties. He’s also learned how to use Google Maps to look at different residential areas and see what transport there is, what he needs in that area, and how close it is to his friends and family. He’s now a lot more confident at finding that information for himself. We’ve even managed to secure him a discretionary housing payment, which covers his bedroom tax for now and allows him to manage in the house that he’s in. He’s received all the help we can offer him at the moment, but I’ll continue working with him as I know that once he moves home he’ll need to setup accounts for utility bills, which he’s never done before and will need our support for. So we’re currently waiting until he’s offered a property, at which point we can start the process of setting up his bills and making sure he understands them. Because of the way he’s grown, I’m really confident that he’s going to pick it up quickly. I don’t think it poses too big a challenge for him, but he likes to know that he’s got our support. I’m looking forward to seeing how this case develops because I think it will be a really satisfying one to work on. He’s worked with other areas of the project as well as our Financial Routeway, and it’s been great to see how each part of the project slots together with each Routeway having its own impact on the participant’s confidence and their quality of life. It’s really great to see and demonstrates how well the project works.


Moneywise Plus poster in the reception area at CALS.

Moneywise Plus poster in the reception area at CALS.

Do you or someone you know need to brush up on their financial skills? Moneywise Plus may be able to help you achieve this and much more. We offer support for all matters digital and financial, and can help you gain volunteering skills and confidence to become work ready. To find out if you’re eligible for our project, complete the referral form on our website or give us a call on 0300 003 7004.

How Moneywise Plus Helped Me: Helen

Greetings readers, and welcome to our April blog post! This instalment we’re hearing from Helen*, a Moneywise Plus participant who shares her story and the ways that the project helped her.


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

Before I joined the project I was unemployed and looking for work. I have children but had recently split with my partner after experiencing domestic abuse, which left me low in confidence. I was looking to find a job as soon as possible but was nervous about returning to work.

Children playing tug-o-war in a team.

Helen was able to accomplish her goals and find work with help from the Moneywise Plus team.


How did you come to be involved with the project?

I attended a drop-in session with Hinckley Library Work Club, the staff there referred me to Moneywise Plus.


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

During my time on the project I attended Digital Taster sessions, Digital One-To-One appointments and accessed support from the Financial Routeway. The IT support with job applications was invaluable, I wouldn’t have managed without it. I struggled with some tasks during the Digital One-To-One support but was able to achieve the things I needed to do with a bit of help from the Moneywise Plus team.


How has your situation changed since you joined Moneywise Plus?

It’s improved a great deal! With help from the project I’ve been able to apply for work and provide necessary documents to prospective employers. Recently I had a job interview and succeeded in securing a position in public services. I am much more confident than I was at the start of the project and am looking forward to getting back into paid employment.


What did you think of the project?

It’s amazing – I found it really useful!


Would you or someone you know like to develop financial, digital and volunteering skills? 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.


Our Spring Newsletter

Excerpt from the Monyeywise Plus Spring Newsletter

Excerpt from the Monyeywise Plus Spring Newsletter

Hello readers, hope you’re having a good week so far!  We’re just popping in today to share our Spring Newsletter which we sent out to subscribers recently.  There’s loads of interesting news to share with you, including the latest update from the Project Manager, an article about the newly-opened Food Hub at E2 in Beaumont Leys and upcoming events we will be attending.  Follow the link here to read more!


If you’d like to receive our future email newsletters directly to your inbox, you can subscribe to our mailing list by following this link and completing the short form.







Moneysaving Tips: Help Around The Home

Hello lovely readers! March is here and it’s finally starting to feel like spring. In this post we’re diving into some money saving tips focusing on ways to cut costs round the home. We’ve even included some ways to save cash on your annual spring clean!


A bottle of white vingear

Vinegar can be used as a powerful household cleaner



  • Use energy-saving light bulbs to illuminate your home. They may be more expensive than traditional bulbs initially but will last for far longer, saving you money in the long-term.



  • When buying appliances and white goods, make sure that energy efficiency is high on your list of priorities when it comes to choosing the model you want. This could save you a lot of money in the long-term!


Halved lemons and a juicer

Lemons are very versatile and have many uses around the home.

  • Think before you buy new toiletries – do you already have some you could use up before buying new ones? Many of us receive body-care as gifts for Christmas, make sure you raid your stash before buying new products.


  • Deter thieves from stealing your wheelie bin by decorating it with stickers, paint… anything colourful and distinctive! This could also be a fun activity to do with the kids.


  • Recycle odd socks, old towels and other clean scraps of fabric for use as dusters and polishing cloths.


  • Get second-hand furniture for a fraction of the price by visiting auctions, house clearances and charity shops. You can often find some quirky, unusual pieces and even some high-quality gems that will look splendid and give your home character.


  • If you’re a keen gardener, consider visiting a local seed-swapping event to exchange surplus seeds with other gardeners. Who knows, you may get the chance to grow something you’ve always wanted to without needing to pay a thing!


If you’re in need of advice to manage your money, help is at hand. The Moneywise Plus project can help you budget, manage your finances and make your money go further. Find out more and discover if you’re eligible for our service on our website, or call us on 0300 003 7004.

Meet The Team: Ben

Greetings readers, can you believe it’s February already? In this post we chat to Ben, who leads our Digital Advisor One-to-One Service delivered at Leicester College City Skills Centre. These are bespoke sessions that aim to improve the digital skills of Moneywise Plus participants. Ben kindly answered our questions so we could find out much more about what he delivers.

Interior of the Leicester College City Skills Centre

Inside the Leicester College City Skills Centre


How does digital benefit society?

Digital has impacted society at nearly every level and affected how we work, communicate, shop… everything really! The digital revolution has changed things dramatically and in such a short space of time. It has reduced the costs of services and products and allows people to communicate with each other instantaneously across the globe. Digital skills benefit people if they are looking for work, accessing health services, doing banking online and also provide access to entertainment. The number of people using the internet worldwide is around 3 billion, but unfortunately there is also a significant proportion of people who have been left behind: in England there are around 10 million people who are classed as digitally excluded. My main aim is to give people skills and help them grow their digital confidence, so that they can benefit more from the present digital world and be better prepared for future changes.


What is the purpose of the sessions you deliver?

A lot of people who attend the sessions have not had the opportunity to learn the basics of using computers and the Internet. The main purpose of the sessions is to help them learn and gain these basic computer skills, as well as helping them to understand the benefits of having these skills. I do find that lots of people have attended basic computer courses throughout their life but have not been able to maintain the skills and confidence they learnt, so one of the other purposes of my sessions is to encourage continued use of computers and the Internet in community settings or whilst attending further education so they can retain and develop their digital skills.

Interior of a classroom at Leicester College City Skills Centre

Inside a classroom at Leicester College City Skills Centre


What are some of the things people learn in their sessions with you?

My sessions focus on improving people’s gaps in their digital skills, whatever they may be. Some people need to learn the very basics of using a computer, keyboard and mouse, others may need to learn how to use the Internet or e-mail. In some cases people may be confident in the basic use of computers and the Internet but need specific support in applying for jobs online, or they may want to know how they can shop online to save money, or how to compare gas and electrical companies online to get better deals. The digital world is very broad and there really is a great variety of things people can learn during the sessions, so I encourage them to focus on what’s most important to them. For instance, Universal Credit is quite often discussed as people are unsure about the changes this system will bring, so we dedicate some time to using the Internet for research and provide them with some of the skills that they will need before they move to Universal Credit.

Exterior of Leicester College City Skills Centre

Leicester College City Skills Centre


What is the most exciting thing about the digital revolution?

Something I find quite exciting is ‘the internet of things’, which is where ordinary household appliances and other products can connect to the Internet. I do like the idea of using my phone to turn on my lights, central heating and oven, and even look in my fridge without having to get off the sofa. It’s all a bit expensive for most of us at the moment but the prices will eventually come down and at that point we’ll start to see and use more Internet connected products. Vehicles are also more connected and already some can call an ambulance should you be involved in an accident, saving time and potentially lives. Many health monitors are now connected to the Internet so people can monitor their health at home or on the move. The information can then be easily shared with health professionals, which could help with the prevention and treatment of many health conditions.

A banner advertising the Moneywise Plus project

A banner for the Moneywise Plus project


What impact does not having digital skills have on the people you work with?

A lot of people I work with do feel quite isolated from society because of their lack of digital skills. They’re aware how much people’s use of computers and the Internet has increased, especially over the last 5 – 10 years. They sometimes feel embarrassed as well. Some people who are currently searching for work cannot do so online, and spend time going door to door handing out CVs which many employers no longer accept. As many people grew up with computers not being part of their lives at school it can be quite daunting to now start using them. In my sessions I try to reassure people that they are very capable of gaining some good digital skills during their work with the project, which can help them overcome their fears or anxieties of using computers and the Internet.


What effect does gaining digital skills have on them?

We’ve supported a lot of people now with gaining more digital skills and growing their confidence in using digital. One person I worked with was overjoyed about being able to use satellite and street maps to walk around their old town in Tanzania, a place they’ve not visited since their childhood many decades ago. It was fantastic to help someone to use the internet for this personal journey. Another person who I have supported was struggling with health problems and had to stop their career. They hadn’t needed to have digital skills in their previous career, so I helped them use the Internet to research education and career options and have already seen a massive improvement in their confidence and general outlook which is been really rewarding for both of us. Another person the project has been supporting is registered blind and was struggling with an outdated software package designed to support people with sight problems. He could not use the Internet for job searching and so had to travel quite a distance to the job centre to do all his Internet job searches there. I was able to get in touch with the software company and arranged an hour-long tutorial to help him use the software better, so he can do all his job searching from home. This was incredibly useful for him and saved him a lot of time travelling, so he was delighted with the support and feels more confident about his future. Other people I have supported have had a general fear of digital, so it’s always nice to see them overcome this and realise that with a bit of support they can gain a good level of digital skills.


Are you ever surprised by things that your clients do/don’t know?

I do empathise with people who haven’t grown up with computers and have never used them either at school, work or during life in general. With the speed technology changes it can be easy to get a little bit left behind, but people can catch up quickly as well. We support people to improve their overall skills and knowledge by accessing further education; many people don’t know that there are a lot of qualifications that they can study for free to improve their skills. I’m really passionate about people continuing with education throughout their life, so it’s a nice surprise when I see them full of confidence after passing their first ever qualification. For many people it’s about the journey of learning and it’s great to see these people grow in confidence in front of you.


Are you or someone you know struggling to develop digital skills? Moneywise Plus may be able to help you achieve this and much more. We offer support for all matters digital and financial, and can help you gain volunteering skills and confidence to become work ready. To find out if you’re eligible for our project, visit our website or give us a call on 0300 003 7004.

How Moneywise Plus Helped Me: Sharon Wood

Hello readers, and welcome to our first blog post of 2018! In this instalment we’re asking one of our participants how Moneywise Plus helped them. This month we chat to Sharon Wood, who took part in the digital one-to-one sessions and the volunteer routeway courses and who has since joined the project in a volunteering capacity to offer her help and experience to other participants.


What were your circumstances before you came to the project?

Unfortunately I was in poor health, which made me feel worthless. My resulting lack of confidence and self-loathing prevented me from working or seeking work.


How did you hear about the project?

I was referred by Ben at Leicester College, and was soon taking part in the digital one-to-one and volunteering courses. Before my first session I wasn’t sure what to expect, but once I’d met the advisors I felt much more comfortable and relaxed. I knew that they were going to be great people to get on with and confide in.


What did you gain from the project?

I increased my digital skills by learning how to use email, I also improved my communication skills. I developed interview techniques and learned how to write a personal statement and complete job applications. I found learning and doing these things absolutely brilliant, I’m much more confident now about getting in touch with people. The project really built up my confidence: it got me into doing emails and applying for volunteering roles. It made me feel comfortable about myself.

Sharon Wood posing confidently

Sharon Wood is now much more confident thanks to the support she received on the project.


How do you feel about life now?

I feel confident about my future now, having had conversations with the volunteering team about upcoming opportunities. I feel that I can overcome the barriers I face; before I approached them with trepidation but I now feel very confident. I feel that I can do more by myself, and the project has made me want to go forward with my life. I feel uplifted and much less anxious.


What did you think of the project?

The project more than met my expectations! I found the people lovely to work with – it was brilliant and everyone felt equally valued. Everyone has been friendly, helpful and great to get along with. Taking part in the project was an absolutely fulfilling experience, it ticked all of the boxes for what I wanted to achieve. I couldn’t fault it. I would absolutely recommend the project to a friend.


Would you or someone you know like to develop financial, digital and volunteering skills?  Our project may be able to help you.  Find out if your eligible by completing the referral form on our website.

Moneywise Plus succeeds in supporting 321 participants

On Friday 24th November Moneywise Plus delivery partners, participants and stakeholders gathered together at The Venue, DeMontfort University to mark the end of the first year of delivery of the Moneywise Plus programme and celebrate its achievements to date. As of September 2017, the project has supported 321 participants, of which:

• 43% increased their financial skills in personal budgeting
• 36% increased their digital skills through improved access to the internet
• 36% received specific advice through attendance at scheduled appointments as part of the programme.

Moneywise Plus is a project funded by the National Lottery (through the Big Lottery Fund) and the European Social Fund. It is managed and delivered by Reaching People, a consortium of third sector organisations in Leicester and Leicestershire, with the City and County Council as additional partners. The purpose of the project is to improve the financial and digital skills of local unwaged participants across Leicester and Leicestershire, with the aim to support 1,400 people by the end of 2019.

The event began with an opportunity for attendees to mingle and chat, followed by a welcome by Gaynor Quilter, Chair of Reaching People. We then enjoyed a video introducing the project (which you can view below) and kicked off the event in earnest with an evaluation discussion in groups lead and facilitated by Chris Barlow of ERS. After sharing feedback we moved onto the next activity, in which Moneywise Plus delivery partners each lead a discussion in groups and then fed back to the room. At 5pm we listened to a talk by our inspirational keynote speaker Romail Gulzar, Managing Editor of Pukaar News and Founder of the Leicester Curry Awards, who spoke about how money and digital skills had influenced his life. We wrapped up the event with some last words from Reaching People CEO Jenny Hand and Gaynor Quilter, at which point a buffet was served and attendees were free to eat, drink and network.

Here’s what some of our participants had to say about our project:

‘The whole programme has boosted my confidence, helped me to reach my personal goals and helped me improve on my communication skills.’

‘Very worthwhile project and has really helped me get a full-time permanent position.’

‘I have now become very confident in everything that I do.’

We’re extremely proud of all that we’ve achieved in just one year and look forward to doing even more in the years to come! We hope you will join us at our next annual celebration event in 2018.

Annual Celebration of Moneywise Plus

Partners and stakeholders involved in the Moneywise Plus project will meet at The Venue at DeMontfort University on Friday 24th November for their Annual Celebration event.

The purpose of the event is to celebrate the project’s achievements in the first year of delivery and work on challenges for next year. Moneywise Plus is a project funded by the National Lottery (through the Big Lottery Fund) and the European Social Fund. It is managed and delivered by Reaching People, a consortium of third sector organisations in Leicester and Leicestershire. Additional partners are the City and County Council.
The aim of the project is to improve the financial and digital skills of local unwaged participants across Leicester and Leicestershire. So far the project has supported over 325 people with over 150 participants completing the programme and achieving positive progression.

Welcome and introduction to the event will be provided by Gaynor Quilter, Chair of Reaching People, who has over thirty years experience in the housing, employment, learning and support sectors. Attendees will then watch video interviews with participants who will talk about the impact delivery has had on their life and what they have achieved through the project. There will also be interactive workshops, which will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to experience what delivery is like for participants. The event will include a key-note speech from Romail Gulzar, Managing Editor of Pukaar News UK, who will speak about how money and digital skills have influenced his life.
Gaynor Quilter says: ‘I am really pleased to be able to share the early achievements of Moneywise Plus and the huge difference the project is making on the lives of local people. Many of the participants are among people in most need of additional support to use digital devices to apply for work and to manage their finances and improve their lives generally. Moneywise plus in year 1 has already supported over 325 people to move on with financial and digital skills.’

More information about the Moneywise Plus project and how to access its services can be found on the website Support is available for any person who is over 16 years of age, not in work and eligible to reside in the UK.

If you would like to attend the event please follow this link to our event listing on Eventbrite: