Getting your finances in order with digital

Crossgates and District Good Neighbours scheme has helped dozens of elderly people find the confidence to use the internet to manage their money.

Crossgates and District Good Neighbours scheme, one of Good Thing’s Foundation’s community partners, has thrived since becoming part of the Nobody in the Dark programme.

Before taking part, many members of the centre had very low level digital skills and didn’t feel confident using the internet. Their struggle with basic digital literacy meant many of them were cut off from essential online services like online banking, shopping, social media and even sending and receiving emails. 

Some said they were scared to complete financial transactions online for fear of fraud and scams – to the extent that sometimes they avoided dealing with their finances altogether. 

By running a range of digital skills sessions, both in groups as well as in a 1:1 setting, the Crossgates and District Good Neighbours scheme has helped dozens of people, many of whom are elderly, find the confidence to use the internet to manage their money. 

With the support of the Nobody in the Dark programme, the centre has been teaching financial digital skills through fun sessions like ‘How to use WhatsApp’, ‘All about emails’ and ‘MOT your phone or tablet’. These classes allow members to learn the basics of being online and discover all of its benefits. 

The centre has hosted fraud awareness sessions to help people learn more about protecting themselves while online banking. The sessions were extremely popular and classes are now being held once a month to reach even more people. 

Crossgates has also been running money saving afternoons which have had lots of interest. Here, members can learn about how to get the best deals by using price comparison websites, saving them money in the long term. Members now have the skills to compare online travel insurance, house insurance and product prices. 

Samantha, the Digital Co-ordinator, says:

Members enjoy looking at price comparison websites and have found they can get house insurance and other essential products at a much cheaper price. This make a huge difference to their monthly incomes.

Thanks to the support from the Nobody in the Dark project, members of Crossgates and District Good Neighbours scheme have found the confidence to get online without fear, helping them become more financially independent and improving their quality of life as a whole. 

June’s story

June, 71, has been learning to budget and manage her money effectively, after getting help from a Nobody in the Dark programme centre, Cross Gates & District Good Neighbours Scheme in Leeds, one of Good Things Foundation’s community partners. 

Before visiting Cross Gates & District Good Neighbours Scheme, June struggled to manage her weekly income and keep up with bigger expenses. She spent most of her money on essentials and didn’t have money left for things like birthdays and trips out, isolating her from her friends and family. 

June reached a crisis point when her credit card company said they were increasing her loan repayments to an amount she couldn’t afford, making her worried about the future. She desperately reached out to Cross Gates & District Good Neighbours Scheme, her local Online Centre, to get help. 

The centre helped June contact her credit card company and discuss her loan repayments. They also created a monthly budget so she could keep track of her weekly expenses, printing out a template for her to use. June showed this to her credit card company and the company agreed to keep her repayments to an amount she could afford. 

Thanks to the support from her local Online Centre, June has taken control of her finances. She saves money each week in her savings account so she can afford meals with friends, birthday presents and trips with her family. She’s also now able to set aside money for emergency costs and repairs.  This has taken away a lot of her stress and has allowed her to have a more active social life. She says: “I have enjoyed 9 day trips out recently and had many lunches with my friends”. 

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