Citizens Advice has given grants of £25,000 each, through The Martin Lewis Fund, to 25 local Citizens Advice services to deliver projects that will provide “more support to particular groups of people and help them in new and inventive ways”.
The recipients will also share what they learn from the projects with the possibility of encouraging others to launch similar projects across England and Wales.
The awards announced today follow an initial award of £1,000 in September 2015 to test initial project ideas. The funding comes from a £1 million donation from Martin Lewis to Citizens Advice across the UK in 2015.
Projects had to fit into categories including:
- making people more digitally skilled
- working closely with health and social care providers
- and future opportunities for volunteers.
Financial journalist and founder of MoneySavingExpert.com Martin Lewis explained why he made the donation to Citizens Advice. He said:
“Few realise Citizens Advice, which is at the bedrock of British society, is a charity not a government agency – a shame as the work it does is truly life saving. I’ve met many people who were suicidal over legal or money life challenges they couldn’t cope with, yet a visit to their local Citizens Advice put them on the path to dealing with it.
“As a huge fan of the organisation, I wanted to do something to help it pioneer new ways to reach out and improve people’s lives, and I’m excited to see where this takes us.”
The £625,000 will be used for projects including:
- Citizens Advice Elmbridge West: Will train volunteers to provide longer term support for people who have experienced domestic abuse and additional problems they may face such as housing and finance to help them towards independence.
- Citizens Advice Denbighshire: Will engage mothers and families in need of support by working with their local health visitor and midwifery team to deliver early advice on problems such as debt, benefits and managing finances which will in turn improve their health.
- Citizens Advice South Sandwell: Will promote and deliver advice services to people who do not have English as their first language and are not currently served by interpreting services locally by using a digital translation platform, trained volunteers and staff.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“We are delighted to be able to announce this funding to 25 Citizens Advice services. The funding will give them a chance to build on what they have already achieved with their pilot projects. Not only will the funding help local people to solve their problems, but the local services will capture what works well and share their learning so that other people across England and Wales may also benefit. We’re very grateful to Martin Lewis for his ongoing support.”
Other funding from Martin Lewis and MoneySavingExpert
Martin Lewis pledged to donate £10m to charity in 2012 and published an update on progress on making those donations, including the original £1m to Citizens Advice.
When he won £150,000 on Celebrity Millionaire he donated it to Citizens Advice.
MoneySavingExpert.com has a charity fund, set up in 2008, which is “dedicated to supporting UK voluntary groups deliver financial life skills, which make a lasting impact of the way people think, behave & manage their money.” Its next grant round will open on 1 September 2017.
Grants round now closed, 40 applications accepted, next round opens 1st September 2017
— The MSE Charity (@MseCharity) March 1, 2017
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