Gabi Sima - Service Broker Team Leader for The Big Issue Foundation Midlands reflects on sharing some of the tools she learned from the Cash Smart, Credit Savvy (CSCS) course.

Our Just Finance Black Country worker - Rev Cassius Francis, recently caught up with Gabi.

She told us:

We used the CSCS tool 'Relationship with Money' during our Money Themed Project and I believe it was the session that our vendors enjoyed the most. They learned how to make informed choices when buying a product, top tips for saving money on shopping, the difference between best before/use by /sell by, the difference between price/taste/quality on different brands, how to search online for cheaper energy supplier and products. They said it was new information for them and they will look at the products’ label from now on.

Overall, 25 Big Issue vendors took part. The 'Jaffa Cake challenge' was a success!
The vendors were surprised to see that is no difference in taste, shape or product but a big difference in price. The feedback was positive from every single vendor, they all felt they have learned something new and left the session with a positive thought in doing something different in theirs day to day life.

  • Were they able to access any additional support as a result?

"After the session some of them wanted to be referred to LEAP - Local Energy Advice Partnership and they received advice and practical support from an energy adviser about their energy bills. They were also able to access support about how not to fall into fuel poverty.

  • Any feedback from you (the trainer) about the materials/experience/impact?

I believe the information provided in terms of top tips in saving money on shopping, the difference between sell by/use by/ best before, how/where to search for the cheapest product was valuable information for them and will have a long term impact. The materials were very well structured and easy to use.

When I first participated to the session, I’ve learned new things from the ”taste for difference challenge” and I was surprised to see that it is not a big difference in taste but a big difference in price. I have changed my way of shopping and I was glad that I was able to share this information with the most vulnerable people and have an impact in their life too.

"The materials were very well structured and easy to use."

"I have changed my way of shopping and I was glad that I was able to share this information with the most vulnerable people and have an impact in their life too."