Just Finance London
Financial distress has a hugely detrimental effect both on individuals and on local communities. The problem has two key dimensions; it is both systemic and personal. In system terms, the issue is the availability and quality of financial services and products that meet people’s needs. On a personal level, there is a need to equip people with the skills and knowledge to make good financial decisions and to provide support when things go wrong. Whilst solutions to these problems do exist in the form of community finance organisations, debt advice and money management tools, they are often underutilised or lack scale.
The Just Finance Network is a comprehensive response to these issues. It is premised on the Church of England’s ability to mobilise a wide variety of people of goodwill in local communities supporting their neighbours in a journey to financial health, and at the same time addressing the capacity of, and connections between, financial services – especially those services which aim their work at local communities like credit unions, money advice services and Community Development Finance Initiatives.
The Just Finance Network builds on the Church Credit Champions Network pilot. It aims to unlock the resources of local churches to help strengthen financial resilience in communities through support for community finance, signposting to debt and money advice, and building financial capability.
Meet Alison Tsang
In April 2017 Alison Tsang joined Capital Mass to lead our work here in the Diocese of London. Alison will help to unlock the resources of churches and community organisations in the Diocese of London and build local partnerships to create a visible, effective and accessible community responses across the Diocese.
- Supporting parishes in their existing work around saving and borrowing opportunities, money skills and debt advice
- Identifying, training, mentoring and supporting clergy and lay leaders to mobilise action at a local level
- Being a point of reference for parishes/deaneries on matters of engagement and advice
- Brokering mutually beneficial relationships between parishes/deaneries and partner organisations which will lead to greater participation from parishes/deaneries in addressing debt and money matters
- Establishing key alliances with key partners across London and the UK to amplify our impact
- Connecting parishes/deaneries to Community Finance Providers and Money Advice Services with the aim to raise awareness and participation
- Using our lobbying power as an insistent voice for those struggling with debt
- Ensuring the voice of those affected is heard and not forgotten
- Mobilising the diocesan networks behind key messages and possible opportunities
- Ensuring that our response has deep roots, grounded in and reflecting our Christian faith