Third Sector Awards: Charity Partnership of the Year – Surviving Economic Abuse and Money Advice Plus

Awarded to a partnership between two or more charities that has enabled the partners to more effectively deliver services to beneficiaries, reach new groups or reduce costs.

What is the background?

One in four UK women have experienced domestic abuse: 95 per cent also experience economic abuse, and more than half do not have enough money to enable them to leave their abuser. Six in ten victim-survivors of coercive control have been coerced into taking out debt.

Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) is the only UK charity dedicated to raising awareness of economic abuse, and transforming responses to it. Money Advice Plus (MAP) has delivered a national debt advice and casework service to survivors of domestic abuse since 2010.

In 2018, a grant from the UK government's Tampon Tax Fund enabled SEA and MAP to launch the Domestic and Economic Abuse Project (DEAP),  an integrated money advice model which enables advisors to respond to the complex financial guidance needs of victim-survivors of domestic abuse.

What did the partnership do?

DEAP combined the specialist knowledge of SEA with the regulated debt advice and financial guidance expertise of MAP. As well as providing a telephone debt advice and casework service, DEAP jointly employed a Debt and Benefits Advocate at Solace Women's Aid in London.

The partnership designed specialist training and resources for professionals, to equip domestic abuse and financial advice charities and the financial services industry to better respond to economic abuse.

SEA and MAP also designed a screening tool and a conversation kit to help frontline professionals identify the signs of economic abuse. The insight of a group of over 100 women with lived experience of economic abuse informed the design, delivery and evaluation of the work.

What has it achieved?

So far 288 women have been supported through the telephone service, resulting in increased money confidence levels. 60 per cent experienced a financial gain and a third of cases had debts written off, totalling £663,030.

DEAP has trained 439 professionals, with over 96 per cent of participants reporting increased understanding of economic abuse. SEA and MAP plan to develop DEAP further into a national financial guidance line

What did the judges say?

“Impressive co-operation making a significant and important difference. This partnership is in an area of clear need and the partners are well experienced in the setting.”

Highly commended

Refugee and Migrant Centre- Black Country and Wolverhampton 

Finalists

Tutors United and the G15 Group

OVO Foundation and Energy4Impact

National Emergencies Trust (NET) and UK Community Foundations (UKCF)

Borough Market and Plan Zheroes

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