We have listed a variety of offers that you are able to engage with personally or signpost colleagues to who may need this support. 

Free, impartial and confidential money advice

All health and social care employees can contact the the MoneyHelper Service support lines in the following ways for free confidential and impartial money advice:

  • Free telephone: 0800 448 0826 (Monday to Friday 8am-6pm)money-helper-scaled.jpg
  • Whatsapp: Add 07701 342744 to your WhatsApp and send the Money Advice Service’s national support team a message for help with sorting out your debts, credit questions and pensions guidance.
  • Webchat: Chat to Money Helper Service team via their online portal
  • Their Talk Money series is designed to help you have those difficult conversations about money with your family and friends.
  • So if you’ve ever struggled to sit down and talk about your money goals with a partner, don’t know how to tell your friends you can’t afford to go out this weekend, need to talk to relatives about some important money trouble they’re walking into, or just want to talk about money to your kids, these guides will help you out.

If you work for an NHS organisation, most have Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) in place for all of their staff. Many of these services include a level of debt management advice and support for staff. Please liaise with local Human Resources/People and/or Finance functions if you are unsure whether you have access to an EAP or how to access it.

  • Budget Planner Tool: this free Budget Planner puts you in control of your household spending and analyses your results to help you take control of your money. It’s already helped hundreds of thousands of people.

  • Quick Cash Finder Tool: use this quick cash finder tool to discover how you could quickly find and save money by simply cutting back on some of your regular spending.

  • Debt Advice Locator Tool: if you’re struggling with debt, it can be hard to know where to turn. But with lots of free national and local advice services available across the UK, you can use this tool to find help in a way that’s best for you.

  • Debt and borrowing: for taking control of debt, getting free debt advice, and how to borrow affordably.​​​​

  • Benefits: find out what benefits you’re entitled to and learn about Universal Credit.

  • Budgeting and managing your money: advice on running a bank account, planning your finances, and cutting costs.

  • Work and redundancy: advice on understanding your employment rights, what in-work benefits you might be entitled to and how to handle redundancy.​​​​​​​

  • My Money: find loads of bright ideas, money saving tips and step by step recipes for saving money – let My Money help you keep more of your hard-earned cash.​​​​​​​

  • Help with scams: advice for spotting, avoiding and recovering from scams.

The cost of living crisis is understandably causing a lot of people to be feeling stressed about finances. If you are feeling overwhelmed with worry, you can request a callback to have a wellbeing conversation with one of our mental health practitioners to talk about how you are feeling. 


The Citizens Advice Bureau have listed helpful advice you might want to consider to get help:

  • Check what benefits you can get: You might be able to claim benefits or increase your current benefits if you’re of working age and on a low income, sick or disabled, of State Pension age and on a low income, a carer, responsible for children. You can check what benefits you can get.

  • Get your benefit paid early: Most benefits can be paid early. This is known as a 'short term benefit advance'. To ask for an advance, contact the DWP office that's dealing with your benefit claim. You can find their contact details on any letter or email you’ve had from them.

  • Check what help you can get from your local council: Your local council might help you pay for things like your energy and water bills, food, essential items - for example, clothes or an oven. Contact your local council

  • Work out your budget: Use a budgeting tool to help you understand what money you've got coming in and what you have going out, where you might be able to cut costs. Find free tools and resources (in the above secion on this page) you can use. 


Self-help resources 

UNISONunison.png

UNISON provides a one-off grant to help with essential expenses such as food and bills, general living costs, household appliances, urgent repairs, disability equipment and adaptations, utility bills and funeral costs. To be eligible to apply for financial assistance, you must have been a member of UNISON for at least four weeks and up to date with your subscriptions.

*Check with your organisation if they have Unison representative you can get in touch with*

For more details: www.unison.org


The Care Worker's Charitythe care workers charity.png

This charity has two grants:

  • Crisis grants – For care workers who have experienced a recent change in circumstance resulting in a significant financial impact.
  • Covid-19 Emergency Fund grant - Emergency funding for care workers who have suffered a drop in income due to Covid-19, or who need financial support because of a Covid-related circumstance. This extends to additional roles such as cooks/kitchen assistants, housekeepers or domestic workers, maintenance staff, drivers and admin staff (team leaders/supervisors and personal assistants)

For more details: www.thecareworkerscharity.org.uk


Cavell Nurses Trustcavell nurses.png

Cavell Nurses Trust is a charity that supports UK nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants (working and retired) when they’re suffering personal or financial hardship often due to illness, disability, older age and domestic abuse. They provides this support through one-off grants to relieve financial hardship and rapid emergency funding for those at great risk.

For more details: www.cavellnursestrust.org

 


The Ambulance Staff Charity (TASC)london ambulance charity.jpg

Provides support to all present and past ambulance staff and their families in time of need, both in the NHS and independent sector. Services are independent and confidential and include psychological rehabilitation and counselling, including stress and PTSD support (physical rehabilitation, financial grants, debt advice, welfare and other support and bereavement support).

For more details: www.theasc.org.uk


Turn2usturn2us.png

Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face through partner organisations. 

For more details: www.turn2us.org.uk


Social Workers Benevolent Fund (SWBT)swbt_logo_RBB.jpg

The small charity offers a one off, limited financial help to social workers – including retired social workers – and their dependents in times of hardship, for example when experiencing sickness, bereavement, family difficulties or sudden catastrophe.

For more details: www.swbt.org


The Charity for Civil Servantscharity for civil servants.png

The Charity for Civil Servants (formerly The Civil Service Benevolent Fund) supports all civil servants, past and present, throughout their lives, with whatever problems they may have.

For more details: www.foryoubyyou.org.uk

Money problems — they aren’t fun to have, and they aren’t fun to talk about. How can you help a colleague, friend or loved one who’s facing a cash crisis? 

Some of the signs are easy enough to spot. If your friend just lost their job it’s a good bet they’re feeling the financial pinch.

But there are other, less obvious signs to look out for too:

  • If they pass on activities they once did in a heartbeat, like going to their favourite restaurant or catching a movie.
  • If they change the subject whenever money comes up.
  • If they seem worried or stressed, or are showing signs of depression.
  • If you notice they’re using multiple credit cards to pay for stuff.

The Movember website have provided some tips: 

Creating a safe space to talk about money

How do you get your them to open up? They’re more likely to engage if they know they’re in a judgment-free zone. Ask questions with empathy and curiosity. Make it a safe space for them to share their financial difficulties.

Here are some ways you can get the ball rolling:

  • If you’ve seen a change in behaviour, bring it up. For example: “I noticed you haven’t been going out as much lately. Is everything ok right now?”
  • Start the conversation from a place of humility: “I don’t have all the answers, but I’m here to listen and support.”
  • Most of all, take the stigma out of it: “It’s totally normal to have money problems. No judgment here.”
Know what to say (and what not to say)
  • Listen, without trying to identify the cause of their money problems. Avoid asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no, especially if your they're is at a loss for words.

  • Offer solutions, but only when asked. They may just want your presence and understanding. If they do ask for advice or help, go for it. But don’t force it on them.

  • Share your own experience to empathise, not to dictate answers. Try sharing some of your own story. When a friend or loved one is struggling, it always helps if they know they’re not the only one.

You can take some of the stigma out of them for your friends by starting the conversation, being a good listener, and helping in inconspicuous but meaningful ways.

If you think your friend, colleague or loved one is struggling and might need some professional support, you can refer them to our team - make sure you have received consent to do this. If you are unsure of anything please email keepingwell.blmk@nhs.net.

Why should employers be concerned about the financial wellbeing of their staff?

This negative cycle can affect us in the workplace too. Two-thirds of employees who are struggling financially report at least one sign of poor mental health that could affect their ability to function at work. These include loss of sleep, poor concentration, and reduced motivation. Poor treatment in work can make this all the more difficult, with one in five people who have experienced mental health problems saying they’ve faced discrimination in the workplace due to their mental health.

Employers have the power to improve both the financial and mental wellbeing of their workforce, as well as their productivity, by introducing new processes or resources that build financial resilience, creating a culture of support and providing essential help once problems have set in.

NHS Employers have good employment practice resources to supporting staff with the rising cost of living.

Mental Health at Work toolkit

In this toolkit by Mental Health at Work, they have brought together some resources you can use to create a culture of financial wellness at work.

Source: www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk

Webinars

You can book and access a series of recorded web events on managing your money with experts from the government backed Money Advice Service and partners. These events will take you through a range of supportive topics to help you get on top of your finances and help you support others with theirs. For more information and links please see the next page. Topics include:

Book your place on the Affinity Connect course, a specialist provider of financial education in the workplace for the public sector. 

  • Reviewing the increasing cost of living
  • Understand your current financial position
  • Explore practical ways of reducing household expenditure
  • Smart borrowing choices
  • What help and support is available from the government
  • Create a workable action plan

If you would like to attend, please book your place here

Watch the first in a series of interactive learning conversations on managing your money, where experts from the Money Advice Service will take you through a range of topics to help you get on top of your finances. We want to help NHS staff to maximise their income and reduce any financial worries, through hints and tips that will make a material difference to you and your family.

Throughout our lives we will have lots of money conversations with different people and some will be difficult. This session will help you develop your own understanding and take action on issues that can cause financial difficulties – dealing with a life event such as a sudden bereavement, discovering hidden debts and habits, coping with money anxiety and dealing with financial abuse.

In this session it covers:

  • Budgeting and sticking to your spending plan
  • The best way to pays bills – how to pay bills on time, ways to pay, keeping on top of bills
  • Top money-saving tips to help you shop smarter and how to find the best deals with price comparison websites
  • Knowing the difference between good debt and bad debt 
  • How to work out the true cost of borrowing
  • How your credit rating affects the cost of borrowing and how to improve it
  • Protect your money from scams

Are you looking to save for a mortgage deposit, or a car, putting money aside for your children, building that rainy day fund or saving towards that special purchase? 

This session covers:

  • Getting into the savings habit and why it pays to save regularly
  • Saving for emergencies and putting the rest where it can work harder for you
  • Top tips for choosing a savings account
  • Help to Save if you’re on a low income
  • Credit Unions and saving
  • What are investments?