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Just Finance Black Country

Creating a movement for financial inclusion in the Black Country

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Our Just Finance Black Country Worker is Rev Cassius Francis

Use the button below to contact him

Gurj Shergill

Our Overcoming Shocking Debt Development Worker is Gurj Shergill

Use the button below to contact him

Our work currently covers eight main areas

These are:

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1) Teaching Financial Skills

We organise sessions to teach people about budgeting and money management, and to help build their financial confidence.

We run the Cash Smart Credit Savvy programme across the Black Country.

We also run this regularly in partnership with whg, one of the Midlands
leading providers of high quality homes (owning and managing around 21,000 properties across the Midlands).

Cash Smart Credit Savvy was co-produced by our team and covers five key themes:

  1. Savvy Shopping
  2. Building a Budget
  3. Credit and Loans
  4. Debt
  5. Savings
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2) Explaining Universal Credit

We also co-produced the UCSavvy resource to support and equip people in navigating the complexities of welfare changes.

This is also run regularly in partnership with whg, as well as running session with locla partners and DWP.

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Some feedback from a recent Cash Smart Credit Savvy course (September 2019)

#WorkingTogether

This video explores the partnership between our Just Finance Black Country work and local community hub The THOMAS Project.

3) Raising awareness of Loan Sharks

Loan sharks operate illegally, without the correct permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority. These criminals usually appear friendly at first but quickly trap their borrowers into spiralling debt. As the debts can’t legally be enforced, many lenders will resort to the most extreme methods to collect money from victims.

We raise awareness of this by partnering with the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT).

We have run a number of training sessions across the Black Country, and are currently working with councils and other local groups to sign up to an anti-loan shark charter to stop unscrupulous lenders taking advantage of vulnerable people.

So far, we have worked with City of Wolverhampton Council (see the video below) and Sandwell Council (click on the button for more info).

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The signing of the Wolverhampton Stop Loan Sharks Charter

4) Promoting Credit Unions and Ethical savings

Levels of savings in the West Midlands are very low, with 55% of people have less than £100 in savings. Debt can quickly result but we want to prevent this!

We're delighted to be working with Black Country Chamber of Commerce and all four Credit Unions across the Black Country to launch a Payroll Savings Campaign.

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5) Teaching Financial Skills in Primary Schools

With our partners the Just Finance Foundation, we run the LifeSavers financial education programme for primary schools. This equip children with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to manage money well.

So far, we have run half day cpd sessions for teachers across all four Black Country areas.

6) Jesus Money

A new simple resource to start conversations about money, co-produced by TCT, Lichfield Diocese and the Just Finance Foundation

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Cassius can provide a range of support for your organisation or church.

7) Overcoming Shocking Debt

A Lottery funded project to stop vulnerable people from falling prey to loan sharks and other high-cost lenders by helping them access affordable alternatives.

8) Pensions Made Easy

A workshop designed to help people understand pensions and save for their retirement.

* Please note, none of our team are able to give advice *

(Top Photo by Colin Watts on Unsplash)

“I was a bit worried about Universal Credit, but now I feel more confident and I know what I need to do.”

whg Customer Lisa, who attended a UCSavvy session