On 25th July we held our second and final Financial Inclusion grantholder conference. The aims were to:
- Bring together grantholders, Foundation Trustees and staff and representatives from other funders
- Share some of the learning from financial inclusion projects we have funded
- Discuss future directions for financial inclusion issues and practice
- Thank those we have worked with to address financial exclusion
Firstly, our Chair of Trustees, Joycelin Dawes, and our Foundation Director, Danielle Walker Palmour welcomed everyone to the event and set the scene for the day. We then had a series of fascinating presentations from our guests, together with a number of lively debates. (All of the images that follow contain clickable links to the presentations themselves.)
Jean Barclay, our independent evaluator, spoke about the work she and Margaret Bolton had done to look at the success of our funding programme.
Two presentations about the Financial Inclusion Legacy work that we are funding then followed. Firstly, Karen Rowlingson from the University of Birmingham talked about the work that of CHASM is doing to monitor financial inclusion and launched the first annual monitoring report. Sian Williams of Toynbee Hall then talked about the work that Transact is doing to support community infrastructure in this field:
A session on ‘New thinking on emotions, attitudes, money and savings’, facilitated by Rob Lake (one of our Trustees), came after lunch. It was in two parts: firstly a presentation by Mark Fenton-O’Creevy of the Open University about the BBC Big Money Test and then one by Gerard Lemos of Lemos&Crane about the work they have been doing with social housing providers and tenants around encouraging saving. Some interesting observations and questions then came from the audience.
Three of our grantholders then gave presentations on the pilots that they had been running, with our support, to develop and test new ways of meeting people’s financial and material needs:
- Rose Fraser and Dan Hopewell of the Bromley by Bow Centre (their ‘Money Trainers’ project to increase savings behaviour)
- Lesley Richardson of Prince Bishops Community Bank (‘The Store’: a third sector alternative to Rent to Own schemes)
- Andrew Hull of AdviceUK (their Sustainable Debt Advice Project)
… which were followed by a short panel discussion, facilitated by Grants Manager Andrew Thompson, on what their evaluations had told them about the pilots, what wider models they felt they had developed, and how they planned to disseminate the results/roll out the work more widely.
Finally, we heard from a couple of other funders: Richard Walton of the Northern Rock Foundation and Daniel Chapman of the Walcot Foundation.
Thank you to everyone who participated. Attendees have kindly been completing an evaluation survey for us and we shall publish the results, together with what we have learned from the process, shortly.