Project information

Building Financial Capability

Money Smart is our series of financial capability workshops, designed to help women ex-offenders to manage their finances as they transition into employment. This funding will enable at least 100 women to attend the workshops and receive specialist follow-up guidance.

January 2017 - December 2017

Charity information

Working Chance Ltd

Working Chance Ltd logo
  • Need


    Financial difficulties are often the initial trigger for women’s offending, and these difficulties can spiral further out of control during a prison sentence. Without a solid understanding of how to manage a budget or handle debts, our beneficiaries are unable to return to work and sustain employment. Building money management skills is therefore an integral part of our beneficiaries’ journeys towards a crime-free life and employment, enabling them to support themselves and their families.


    Beneficiaries will be empowered through these workshops to take control of their finances, prioritise their debts and analyse their spending habits. Alongside these workshops, will also offer one-to-one guidance sessions for beneficiaries who need hands-on support to negotiate with creditors, draw up debt management plans or deal with financial emergencies. These skills and the confidence they bring will enable women to hold down a job and turn their lives around.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To reduce women’s debts


    » Set up repayment plans for each woman with debts and advise on prioritising debts
    » Explain the perils of payday loans and how to handle financial crises responsibly
    » Assist in any negotiations with creditors

    We will calculate the total amount of debt reduction per women and assess changes women's understanding of debt using end of workshop questionnaires

    Aim 2

    To help women to budget and save


    » Advise on how to make everyday savings on food, energy, entertainment etc.
    » Encourage analysis of spending habits and explain how to differentiate between needs and wants
    » Advise on making and savings plan and types of savings accounts

    We will record the % of women with a budget and savings plan and the % of those who continue to use these once in employment

    Aim 3

    To help women to sustain employment


    » Advise on how to manage a monthly salary and manage the costs associated with working
    » Advise on what to do in a financial emergency
    » Advise on the impacts of loss of any benefits on starting employment and making the transition to independent income

    We will record the number of women who go on to sustain employment for 6 months or more

  • Impact


    We anticipate that women will develop the skills needed to overcome financial difficulties and transition into employment. We will maintain contact with women once they are in employment and ask them about the extent to which they have put their training into practice. We will compare outcomes for women who have attended financial capability workshops vs those who have not.


    There is a risk that we will not be able to attract enough women to the course or that women will drop out. To address this we’ve made sure the material is as engaging and relevant as possible and will explain the benefits of attending to candidates when they register. We will run several courses throughout the year at different times of day to maximise attendance.


    Donors will receive our regular newsletter and will be able to request a project report at the end of the year.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £15,850 Salary incl. pension and N This equates to around half the cost of the salary of the staff member who will deliver the project.
      £4,150 Overhead costs Including office space, workshop materials and candidate travel reimbursement
  • Background


    Working Chance is based in Islington, a very diverse area and the 8th most deprived local authority in the country. We are close to Angel tube station, allowing candidates easy access to our service.


    We work with women with convictions, who have served both custodial and non-custodial sentences from in and around London. Around 60% of these women have children who will also benefit from their mothers increasing their ability to budget and save.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have previously run these workshops successfully in HMP Holloway, and now want them to be available to women in the community. Our support team has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by female ex-offenders, with 40% of our staff having convictions themselves. We have found that at least 50% of our candidates would benefit from this service.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Nina Robertson

    Nina will lead this project. She has 7 years’ experience of delivering financial capability workshops and has worked with women in HMP Holloway