COVID-19: Responding to the Debt Tsunami…SESSION 6 Helping People Save


A month of events & resources over September & October, equipping the church respond to the urgent need around debt and money worries in our communities in the wake of Covid-19


Setting up local savings clubs as part of church life, connecting with your local credit union, encouraging a culture of savings

Book here

While there are huge numbers of households struggling financially in the wake of Covid-19, the pandemic has also laid bare just how few people have any kind of savings to fall back on.

With cost of housing and living so high in London, it’s even more acute than ever; just 40% of Londoners have over £100 in savings;

that means that the majority of people are just one small crisis away from financial stress. So if your washing machine broke down, or the car you rely on to get to work failed it’s MOT, how would you pay for it? Credit card? borrow from a friend or family?

For many low income families, with little access to affordable credit, they just go without; or borrow from high cost credit, or even loan sharks.

Have some savings, even if small, is a huge benefit to being financially resilient; not just being able to pay for unexpected bills, but also the peace of mind of knowing that you could. But it’s hard to save, especially when you’re already struggling for money; and it’s just not part of culture.

How can our churches challenge this “credit” culture and encourage a culture of savings?

We’ll hear from two people who are working to do just that.

Could partnering with the local credit union, learning about how to save, and making it an easier “habit” with simple savings club, attached to an already existing activity, be something that your local church or community could offer?

  • Steve Allen, business manager of Hillingdon Credit union is passionate about helping people manage money better and grow a savings habit; he has partnered with churches across the Willesden area to encourage just that, and is a fount of huge knowledge of good simple ideas you could take on as an organisation; he also talks about the importance of credit unions in communities.

  • Pat Fernandes is a one-woman dynamo when it comes to championing financial wellbeing in her community, in Kilburn. As well as running the “In the Community, 4 the Community” project, helping people practically with budgeting, saving and reducing the stress around money, training volunteers to be community “Money mentors”, she has set up savings clubs in her local church, Sacred Heart. Through these clubs, many more people who thought they “weren’t savers” have been able to put aside small amounts and built up their financial confidence.

We’ll hear from Steve, Pat and hopefully you in this engaging, energetic session about how we as the church can help people save.

We’ll have an hour of conversation, starting with a short film, then stimulating input from our expert guests, and room to ask questions and share our own experiences and our context.

We’ll share examples of churches who’ve been trying this and learn from their experiences, as well as sharing a host of useful practical resources, whatever your churches capacity to respond.

All sessions will be recorded if you are not able to book a slot to attend, so you can catch up at your leisure.

-Thursday 1st October, 2pm-3pm

-Via Zoom (you will be emailed the link the day before)

Guest Speakers:

  • Pat Fernandes, Financial Inclusion Manager ‘In the Community 4 the Community’
  • Steve Allen, Hillingdon Credit Union

NB: We expect sessions to be sold out so please do book your place now to ensure attendance; and if you are no longer able to attend please do let us know or cancel your place so we can offer to those on the waiting list.

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