We are delighted that QSA’s contract with the Money and Pensions Service is continuing for a second year, until March 2023.
The Money Guiders England Network is a free learning and development programme facilitated by QSA on behalf of the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) – the UK’s government-sponsored body responsible for improving people’s financial wellbeing. The network forms an essential part of the MaPS Money Guiders programme, complements the Money Guidance Competency Framework, and links with networks and practitioner communities supported by MaPS in the other UK nations.
The network is open to organisations and individuals who provide any level of money guidance as part of their support to people, and who wish to be part of a supportive practitioner network. QSA, which has been involved in money guidance for over fifteen years through its pioneering Made of Money financial wellbeing programme, is delighted to remain at the heart of this England-wide conversation amongst fellow practitioners. The Money Guiders England Network has a network manager and is in the process of recruiting a development worker.
The network's first year
In its first year, the Money Guiders England Network has attracted 333 members from 135 organisations across England, with the social housing sector, local authorities and grassroots charities all well represented. The network has held 24 events with a total attendance of 365. The events have covered a wide range of topics of interest to money guidance practitioners, including loan sharks, Healthy Start vouchers, paying for a funeral, and supporting people impacted by the removal of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit. We’ve also had very successful discussion forums which enable network members to support each other and build confidence for starting difficult conversations with their clients around money management. Network members can also have access to the MaPS e-learning resources and a money guidance learning credential endorsed by City & Guilds.
“A safe space in which to air challenges or difficulties and to receive thoughtful questions from other professionals aimed at sparking some actions to take forward.”
Money Guiders England Network member
Helping to equip money guiders for the cost of living crisis
Over the next few months the network is planning events that help money guiders to support people who are struggling with the cost of living crisis both in general and on specific issues such as water debt. The network will also be contributing to national conversations during Water Saving Week, Debt Awareness Week and at other times.
Sixty money guiders attended an event on 17 March 2022 that focussed on support for clients in the face of energy cost hikes. After the event, a housing support worker said that “it's great to be part of a network where advice and best practice is shared.”
Speaking about the contract extension with MaPS, QSA’s head of services, Claire Brandon, said:
“QSA is thrilled to be continuing to facilitate the Money Guiders England Network.
This free and accessible network provides training and support for anyone in England who provides guidance about money as part of their paid or unpaid role. By helping them to deliver good quality guidance on money we are ensuring that those who need it the most are accessing accurate and appropriate support. Given soaring energy prices and inflation this is more important now than ever.”
What is money guidance?
Money guidance is any kind of conversation, information, signposting or guidance about money. It can cover a vast range of subjects to improve clients’ financial resilience. Money guidance is separate from the regulated services provided by banks, financial institutions and debt advice agencies. Money guiders are able to support clients to access these regulated services when necessary.
The Money Guiders England Network contributes towards the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing, a ten-year framework led by MaPS. This will help to achieve MaPS' vision of "everyone making the most of their money and pensions", by enabling a wide range of practitioners to develop and improve the money guidance that they provide to people as part of their day-to-day roles.
About the Money and Pensions Service
MaPS’ vision is “everyone making the most of their money and pensions”. MaPS wants to ensure that “every person feels more in control of their finances throughout their lives: from pocket money to pensions. Why? Because when they are, communities are healthier, businesses are more prosperous, the economy benefits, and individuals feel better off.”