Moneywise Plus project to go live


Moneywise Plus project to go live, thanks to £1.9 million funding award

A new project that will help people to manage their money and use the Internet safely for personal finance and job hunting is set to launch after winning a £1.9 million grant. This was awarded through Building Better Opportunities, a programme jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund. Moneywise Plus has been set up by Reaching People, a consortium of charities and not for-profit organisations including Action Homeless.

It will serve people who are not in work or unwaged across Leicester and Leicestershire. Project managers estimate 1,400 people will be eligible for support. The project builds on the successful Moneywise initiative, familiar to local people through its shop on Granby Street in Leicester city centre. The new project adds support for using computers, smart phones, tablets and the Internet to manage money related matters including applying for benefits and searching for work.

Gaynor Quilter, Chair of Reaching People, said: “It’s fantastic news. It allows us to extend the project into the area of IT and while Moneywise was just for people in the city, we can now support people in the county as well. This is about more than assisting people. It’s about educating them so that they can avoid the financial pitfalls and rip-offs that are out there in their daily lives and on the Internet. Instead of feeling left behind by technology and fearful of the web, we will give you the skills and confidence to help yourself to sort out your finances at home and on the web.”

Reaching People CEO Jenny Hand, who will oversee the project, said: “Moneywise has been a successful project but to take it to the next level, we have introduced the digital element. Without Internet access and computer skills, it’s almost impossible to manage your money or do many other things in 2016. Moneywise Plus will help people to get grants, set up online banking and complete electronic forms. We will be giving people whatever support they need to use the web to get the information they need to improve their lives, from the best deals for gas and electricity to finding a new job.”

The project has identified accessing online services and online job hunting as priorities for potential service users. The ability to use the Internet is increasingly necessary for personal finance. People applying for Universal Credit will need to do so online, for example, while many financial products and services require an email address. But research shows the main reasons people don’t use the Internet are fear, cost, lack of skills and, in many cases, no access to computers or Internet-connected devices. It is also known that people in the potential user group for Moneywise Plus want to learn for themselves and do things independently in their own time.

The project will provide support with independent advice about money, and give people access to online information that can help them to help themselves. It aims to instil confidence in using the web and educate people about how to be safe and secure online to protect their personal information and financial details. It will help with technology including online media and SMART technology since potential service users typically use phones and tablets to access the Internet rather than laptops and desktops.

Reaching People member organisations are joined by Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council as partners in delivery of Moneywise Plus.