Mums and Money: income maximisation in the community
Since October, IncomeMax has been working with Young Mums Support Network (YMSN) to deliver its very first place-based community initiative, ‘Mums and Money’, funded by the Trust’s Enhancing Community Support programme.
Together, IncomeMax and YMSN are providing on the ground financial support and advice to vulnerable families that can often be hard to reach.
Fiona Small, Founder of Young Mums Support Network explains,
“Mums have been one of the hardest hit groups of society by the pandemic. Mums and Money provides access to information to maximise the money in mums’ pockets, alleviate some of the financial burden they face and enable them to move forwards. Reducing financial stress helps mums, children, schools, and the wider community. It’s a no brainer.”
YMSN advisers are being trained up by IncomeMax to make the initial contact in the community. As a trusted authority figure, the YMSN team are going to nurseries and local community centres, hosting afternoon teas, and handing out leaflets to raise awareness of the programme and explain what income maximisation means and the support that is available.
Following training, the YMSN advisers work closely with potential beneficiaries to assess their financial situation. Information is uploaded to IncomeMax’s system, where expert advisers can review each case and follow up to help identify and claim any financial support residents might be missing out on. This includes unclaimed welfare benefits and other support like help paying for utility bills and help with unmanageable debt.
Whilst it’s still early days, ‘Mums and Money’ has had 11 referrals in the past month, six of which IncomeMax have been able to contact and support.
83% of those supported so far have had extra income identified, which is estimated to result in an average of over £4,550 more per year per household. The identified extra income comprises of Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payments for disability, low-income water tariffs, Warm Home Discount energy bill support and charitable trust applications.
45% of referrals have not yet been contactable, which is where YMSN will intervene to help broker relationships and bridge the gap between the community and IncomeMax’s support.
Melissa, a Mums and Money beneficiary said,
“I felt heard and not judged. I spoke to Louise who was patient and listened to my concerns. After discussing my financial situation, she was able to determine that there were other resources that I may be able to receive. She helped me to fill out the forms which she submitted on my behalf. This resulted in me receiving a new washing machine, single bed, fuel, and food vouchers.
I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to use this service, as a black single parent, it’s challenging trying to keep my head above water, especially with how COVID has impacted the prices of fuel and food. I would definitely recommend mothers use Young Mums Support Network and IncomeMax as they have taken some of the pressure off my situation.”
The partnership uses the relevant skills of both organisations to reach the right people in the right way. Lee Healey, CEO and Founder of IncomeMax added,
“This is a really great opportunity for us to share our knowledge in the community and drive change by working with such an incredible community-led organisation. Sometimes people suffer in silence because they don’t know who to trust. Young Mums Support Network will help us to reach out to vulnerable citizens and reassure them that we’re here to help.”