Our small grants fund, launched to support projects promoting financial inclusion in South Yorkshire, received some top-class entries from across the region.
The judging panel had the difficult task of choosing those that most closely reflect the main aims of the Good Credit Project by;
- Improving the credit environment (e.g. offering better credit options)
- Reducing the need for credit (e.g. helping people to manage their budget or get the right benefits, providing reduced cost goods and services, etc.)
- Or taking steps to improve credit scores (e.g. schemes to increase voter registration, recognising rent payments toward credit scores etc.)
Thank you to everyone who submitted an application and we wish you continued success in your valuable work to support people to manage their money.
We have awarded grants to the following projects:
My House Project: Affinity 2020
This project aims to equip young care leavers aged 14 to 18 with the practical skills and understanding they need to run their first home, organise their finances and avoid homelessness. Workshop-style sessions will be delivered with the support of partners to cover topics including budgeting, employability, benefits and banking, credit scoring, financial crime and debt and borrowing. Supported by individual mentoring, My House is designed to increase financial awareness, knowledge and confidence leading to better life chances for beneficiaries.
Open Banking: Sheffield Credit Union
This grant will enable Sheffield Credit Union to increase access to affordable loans and speed up the application process. Open banking allows the important element of affordability to be assessed without members having to supply bank statements, a usual requirement which deters around 40% of new members from applying for a credit union loan. The quicker application process gives borrowers a practical alternative to high-cost, online lenders and also helps the credit union to signpost people to other products and services to support their financial wellbeing.
One-to-one debt support: GROW
This project will build on GROW’s broad-ranging support to empower women affected by trauma to access opportunities and gain essential life skills including money management. GROW offers finance, benefit and debt interventions to help reduce the risk of women falling into poverty and crime. This grant will extend that reach to a new cohort of beneficiaries enabling them to access vital support such as debt management plans and creditor negotiation. Having greater financial capability is expected to maximise people’s incomes and improve their mental health and personal circumstances overall.
Credit Bureau: Community
First Credit Union
By sharing credit account performance data with national credit bureaus, this project supports borrowers to improve their credit rating – a key factor in boosting access to affordable options. A good credit score can ensure people have better options and ultimately save them money. The Credit Bureau project will give thousands of people across the region an affordable alternative to expensive financial products, especially those that claim to increase scores. It will also provide access to other credit union products and services to support people to manage their money.