Awards will honour South Yorkshire's financial good Samaritans
The South Yorkshire organisations helping residents to manage their money will be honoured at a unique new award ceremony.
The Financial Inclusion Awards have been launched as part of a pioneering local scheme to help people access more affordable credit options.
Demos, the cross-party thinktank, wants to hear about the people and organisations making a difference in their communities – by giving debt and financial advice, providing budgeting help or supporting people to access the right benefits.
“Whether it was your own personal experience or you know someone who was in need and received help, we'd love to receive your nominations,” says Heather Williams-Taplin, head of major projects at Demos, which has been working closely with Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis and other stakeholders.
“It might be your firm being decent employers and offering an advance on your salary when it's needed, or maybe you work for a charity that helps people in a number of ways, including financial support.”
Research by Demos has highlighted 'credit deserts' in the region, where people struggle to access credit that is affordable, transparent and fair; the scheme aims to transform credit provision and make unaffordable loans a thing of the past.
“We believe that everyone should be able to access affordable credit if and when they need it, so they aren’t forced into making the miserable choice between illegal loan sharks, rip-off private lenders, or having to make inhumane sacrifices at home,” she explains.
“Unfortunately, not everyone has access to financial products and services that are affordable, transparent and fair. Without this, people end up paying more for essential goods and services, and have less choice.
“This can have a negative impact – not just on an individual’s finances, but also their employment, and their family’s housing, health and wellbeing.”
That’s why the first Financial Inclusion Awards will shine a light on the decent sources of support that you might not have considered, from local employers to credit unions.
“We know that South Yorkshire is filled with innovative businesses and organisations which are doing great work to increase financial inclusion in the region,” says Heather. “These awards will celebrate all the amazing work local businesses, charities, public sector organisations and individuals are doing to help residents access the financial tools to help them thrive.”
To nominate an organisation, employer or individual which is supporting people to manage their money, visit www.goodcreditindex.co.uk/awards.
Winners will be awarded up to £1,000 for their non-profit financial inclusion project or a local charity of their choice.
Nominations close on Thursday, 6 February, and the winners will be announced at an exclusive ceremony on Thursday, 13 February, at Cutlers’ Hall Sheffield.