A project evaluation has shown that providing financial capability sessions for some older people hugely increases the likelihood that they will then take steps to check income entitlements and successfully save on outgoings.
Citizens Advice Liverpool, Age Concern Liverpool and Sefton and Liverpool Community Advice delivered interactive information sessions in a variety of settings including sheltered housing schemes, community centres, older people’s lunch or activity clubs and pensioner forums. One-to-one sessions took place in advice centres or by home visit.
Sessions covered the following topics:
- Maximising Income
- Saving Money on Bills
- Managing Money and Staying Safe Online
- Planning for Later Life
- Dealing with Financial Difficulties
“Thank you for your help; without you we would not have known how to claim”
The Money Advice Service ‘What Works Fund’ paid for an evaluation of the project. This found that after the sessions there was:
- a considerable increase in benefit checking – up from 12% in the three months prior, to 40%
- much less reluctance around trying to make changes to financial circumstances – with greater willingness to change energy suppliers in particular
- An increase in willingness to seek help with money problems – up from 50% to 90%.
The evaluation recommended:
- new projects should be funded and developed for community-based organisations to run financial information sessions to groups of older people
- the need for income maximisation advice and assistance on a one-to-one basis should be met and that social landlords should be encouraged to contribute to providing this
- there should be more routes for older people to use the internet by providing access, advice and training.
Although funding for these particular sessions has now ended, the organisations involved in this project continue to seek opportunities to continue their financial capability work.
“More than pleased with the advice & benefits I have received”
Full details about the evaluation of this project can be found at: bit.ly/allaboutmoneyevaluation