Good Practice Examples

Tackling Debt for Health: Improving child & family health outcomes through local debt interventions

Date Posted: 02/10/2017 16:10:43

 As wages fail to keep pace with rising costs and benefits are cut, increasing numbers of families are falling behind on bills and turning to credit to meet day to day living expenses.  1.4 million families containing 2.4 million children were estimated to be in problem debt in the UK in 2014, with many more on the edge of problem debt.  But high levels of debt are unsustainable and deeply damaging, affecting the mental and physical health of parents and children. Debt can push families into poverty and material depriv ation and we know that the experience of poverty in childhood can have far-reaching consequences over the lifetime, impacting educational attainment, employment, health, and even shortening life expectancy. This seminar explored good practice in local debt interventions in London. 

Our first speaker Alison Blackwood, Senior Policy and Campaigns Advocate from StepChange Debt Charity outlined the data and context of debt and families in the UK today, noting the impacts family debt and poverty can have on wellbeing.

Head of Economic Regeneration, Jane Sherwood, and Senior Policy Officer Shane Britton at LB Newham spoke about Newham's financial resilience strategy and in particular the MoneyWorks scheme, set up to deliver affordable loans as an alternative to payday lenders for residents. 

Paul Morden, Head of Services at Toynbee Hall, spoke about their Community Money Mentors programme and how this is delivering better financial wellbeing for clients. 

Download the event report