Families support each other to manage finances better

The charity Family Fund has been helping Scottish families with additional needs to improve their finances through online resources and peer support.

The charity Family Fund has been helping Scottish families with additional needs to improve their finances through online resources and peer support, all thanks to funding provided through the Power Up initiative from Good Things Foundation.

Family Fund is working in Glasgow and Edinburgh to help families on low incomes to develop their digital confidence and skills with the aim of maximising and stabilising their incomes. In June 2019 they received funding from the Power Up initiative to provide digital skills training to low income families with the aim of improving their financial health. They recently collaborated with DIFFERabled, an organisation that supports parents and carers of children with varying levels of Additional Support Needs, to run group sessions to share ideas on the best digital resources available to manage their finances.

Before Covid-19 restrictions were brought in, families were invited to the group session, and after initial apprehension about their lack of digital skills, the session went ahead to great success.

Salena Begley, Partnership Development Manager from Family Fund tells us: “Within the room we had so many offering their own insight into helpful ways of saving money. Families were sharing recommendations on websites and organisations that offer reductions and concessions. Savings are hugely beneficial in any situation – but for our families savings can offer significant change in many areas of their lives. With extra money they can further support the more vulnerable members of their families.” One of the key objectives of the project is to empower families to reach out to other individuals and networks within their communities and truly create area-level change. Through the group session families were able to gain much needed peer support that has been the key to building confidence, understanding and awareness.

Richard Hughes, Research Manager at DIFFERabled tells us: “During the sessions there were areas where parents and carers were sharing information and then suddenly becoming aware that they actually enjoyed similar interests with each other. Since the Power Up session, friendships and meaningful relationships have been formed and many of the group members continue to connect in areas of interest such as restaurants, music and museums.”

Salena tells us about the progress made since the session, “As a result of the Power up day, information has been flowing. Amazing tips around savings and budgeting strategies were mind-blowing! We have great families and they do amazing stuff already – building confidence and encouraging them to transfer their already valuable skills from physical to digital was not just a great first step – but a huge leap!”