“We’ll help our communities face financial challenges”, pledge new local partnership

Published on 4th July 2011

CBH launches local partnership to tackle financial exclusion

A partnership to find and implement practical, sustainable solutions to tackling financial exclusion has been launched by Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH).

Launched in response to the growing financial challenges facing many households in today's society, the Financial Inclusion Working Group (FIWG) brings together partners from the public, private, community and voluntary sectors to co-ordinate a partnership response to promoting and improving financial inclusion across Cheltenham.

Led by CBH the other members of the working group include:

At the first meeting the working group set out the areas they would tackle including; helping people to set up a bank account, promoting a credit union, increasing financial confidence and capability and ensuring customers are claiming the benefits they are entitled to.

Sara Bennett, head of neighbourhood services at CBH said: "Creating communities that are financially sustainable is vital for the future health of our local economy. By setting up this partnership we want to empower our tenants to take responsibility for their household income and give them the confidence to deal with difficult financial situations they may face.

"We are delighted to be joined by so many significant local partners and by working together in a multi-agency approach we will be able to have a far greater reach and impact on the local community by offering wide-ranging help and support to those who need it the most."

Over the next two years the group will be implementing schemes and initiatives to tackle eight identified objectives based on research and consultation CBH carried out with customers.

Next on the agenda will be is a series of money information road shows which will be held at community venues across the borough later on this year.

ENDS

Notes for editors

Cheltenham Financial Inclusion Working Group

Following research and consultation with customers, CBH developed a Financial Strategy with sets out eight key objectives:

  1. A workforce committed to eliminating financial exclusion
  2. Improve the financial capability of customers
  3. Increase take up of contents insurance
  4. Facilitate easier access to bank accounts
  5. Promote a credit union
  6. Maximise income of and reduce financial obligations among CBH customers
  7. Create a working group to effectively deliver the strategy
  8. Work in partnership with sponsors

Cheltenham Borough Homes:

  • CBH is one of the top rated ALMOs (Arms Length Management Organisations) in the country. ALMOs are not for profit companies that run social housing services for their local council.
  • Currently CBH manage and maintain around 5,000 tenant and leasehold properties with an overall satisfaction level of 85%, placing them in the top ten ALMOs nationally 
  • The organisation's approach to community development and participation; governance and equality and diversity has been recognised as good practice nationally
  • CBH continue to develop excellent services by working closely with customers.  It will include building new homes and continuing to regenerate communities whilst tackling issues of worklessness and addressing social enterprise

For further information visit: www.cheltborohomes.org

Press contact: Catherine Best e: catherine.best@cheltborohomes.org t: 01242 775317