A brand-new, 3-year partnership between Barclays and the Trussell Trust will help people facing hunger to maximise their incomes and access impartial financial support.
Announced at a time when the cost of living continues to rise, the partnership aims to upskill food banks to provide financial advice and support to people struggling to afford the essentials.
New research from the Trussell Trust recently highlighted the devastating impact that the cost of living is having on people forced to survive on the lowest incomes with one in five (21 per cent) people claiming Universal Credit unable to cook hot food this summer as they couldn’t afford to use the cooker.
United in their vision that everyone should have enough for the essentials, the new partnership has three shared aims:
- To unlock income for people struggling to afford the essentials and help them to access the financial support they’re entitled to, but not receiving.
- To upskill food banks to provide bespoke support to tackle the underlying causes of hardship in their community.
- To design and deliver a training programme to food bank staff and volunteers, equipping them with the knowledge and confidence to provide effective financial support and advice.
Emma Revie, CEO of the Trussell Trust said:
“Hunger is a symptom of poverty caused by not having enough money for the essentials, and unlocking financial support that families are entitled to but not receiving is part of the solution to ensure everyone has enough to make ends meet. As food banks in our network prepare for a challenging winter, this partnership could not come at a more crucial time.”
The partnership will work closely with food banks who have strong connections with their local community to ensure that people who visit are getting all the help and advice they need, including financial support. Together with the anti-poverty charity’s network of 1,300 food bank centres and Barclays financial expertise, both organisations hope to work towards a future where everyone can afford essentials such as food or heating.
Matt Hammerstein, CEO for Barclays Bank UK said:
“Many in the UK are already experiencing greater hardship due to cost of living pressures, and many more may as those pressures evolve. Incredible charities such as the Trussell Trust play a vital role, helping households struggling to afford life’s essentials. Barclays is here to help make money work for our customers and clients across the UK, and this three-year partnership will provide bespoke assistance for the challenges local communities face.”
Since April alone, the Trussell Trust has unlocked more than £2.3 million for people through the financial inclusion initiatives that Barclays are supporting, as well as writing off more than £500,000 of debt. Looking ahead, 43 per cent of food banks in the Trussell Trust network offer financial inclusion services, with the partnership committed to increasing this to 75 per cent of their network to deliver this support by March 2025.
Financial Inclusion Manager for Wales, Nigel Oanea-Cram, who supports food banks to create and implement advice projects and wraparound support, explained that:
“Aside from the benefit of increasing the incomes of families surviving on very little money, financial support projects like these also improves people’s wellbeing. It restores their dignity and increases their options so that people are no longer having to make impossible decisions such as whether to heat their home or feed themselves.
“Having dedicated funding from Barclays to embed financial inclusion services within food banks has meant that communities and local politicians are beginning to recognise that food provision is not the answer to hunger. We’re hopeful that, as we provide data that shows the impact that maximising people’s incomes can have on reducing the need for food banks, we can work with businesses, government and crucially the communities facing hardship to ensure everyone has enough money for life’s essentials.”