October 2021 Thriving Communities webinar: Financial Wellbeing and Social Prescribing

In this joint webinar between the Thriving Communities Programme which works with local community groups, and the new national Accelerating Innovation Programme, the links between financial wellbeing and social prescribing were explored. There’s a really close relationship between hardship and mental health, and financial worries can affect every aspect of our lives, including our wider physical health and well-being. 

But financial well-being is not just about dealing with crisis situations, it’s also about working with people throughout their lives to help them with the skills and confidence we all need to manage money and to accept the benefits and support we’re entitled to. It’s also about understanding and building networks of support around people’s lives, where their finances and their health intersect. And social prescribing link workers see the effects of money worries in people every day, and how it can affect every aspect of their lives.  

Yet despite its importance talking about money is difficult for many of us and it’s a taboo in society. And having those money conversations is a really important skill in social prescribing. 

This webinar offered tips and advice on how to talk money with the people that community groups and link workers work with and support. Speakers were Dawn Cummings, a regional manager within the Partnerships team for the Money And Pension Service, a Thriving Communities partner. She’s responsible for the East Midlands and also the partnerships team national lead on social prescribing. We also heard from Damon Gibbons, who is the Executive Director for the Centre for Responsible Credit, in his role as Project Lead for the Financial Shield pilot, joined by Hanan Paganini, a Financial Support Link Worker in Lambeth who is making the pilot happen on the ground. 

They discussed 

  • What financial wellbeing is 
  • The impact on physical and mental health 
  • The importance of collaborating across stakeholders and organisations 
  • How we make people feel confident and empowered 
  • Keeping it simple and improving the journey by providing a single point of entry to advice 
  • How it is essential to have understanding of the local area and local provision as well as national provision 
  • The challenges of approaching PCNs and selling a holistic approach 
  • Building partnerships and networks that have the individual at the centre