Financial and Digital Inclusion
By improving the financial and digital capability of the hardest to reach, ROAD helps participants to make small, but life-changing adjustments with an emphasis on progression into economic activity.
Financial & Digital Coach at Citizens Advice County Durham
ROAD’s financial and digital inclusion offer includes the following themes and corresponding activities:
- My Money: A focus on making the most of people’s money by budgeting and income maximisation, for example through benefits. We also help people to recognise and manage debt, recommending specialist caseworkers if required.
- My Work: Looking at any evidence of digital and technology barriers to employment, managing and maximising social media and learning job search skills.
- My Home: Developing the knowledge and understanding so that Participants can secure the best deal on their energy costs, check for eligibility on social water tariffs and ensure that they are getting the best value food for their money.
- My Community: Helping our Participants to identify how they can use their skills to make a difference to their own communities.
- My Future: Helping to provide budgeting and setting financial and digital goals, and identifying community courses, activities and groups that can help Participants to further develop their skills.
Courses within these themes are tailored to those with beginner, intermediate and advanced skills to allow Participants to perform self-reviews and set personal targets.
Working alongside Navigators, our offer is delivered by expert Financial & Digital Coaches at easily accessible community venues and delivery sites across County Durham. Coaches have the knowledge base to use existing services, and we have a Financial Crisis caseworker to support urgent debt and money issues for our Participants to help them begin to get back on track.
ROAD Financial & Digital Coaches are:
Catherine Evans – Employability & Digital Inclusion Coach at the Cornforth Partnership
Catherine previously worked as an Employability Coordinator for the Cornforth Partnership, a role in which she helped people to upskill and move closer to paid employment. She has carried her employability skills into her role on ROAD and enjoys helping individuals overcome barriers which they previously felt impossible to do so. To date, Catherine’s proudest moment is encouraging and helping a ROAD Participant to get a job by helping with financial difficulties and improving their mental health. Catherine’s favourite cake is a school dinner staple – the cornflake tart!
Jamie Blackburn – Financial & Digital Coach at Citizens Advice County Durham
Jamie has worked for Citizens Advice for more than 5 years and has a lot of experience in helping people reach their goals and overcome barriers. His favourite part of working for ROAD is looking back over a Participant’s file and seeing the progress they have made. Jamie studied Law, enjoys Opera, and has a collection of over 200 orchid plants.
Nadia Ferri-Bishop – Financial & Digital Coach at Citizens Advice County Durham
Nadia’s past roles include working as a community learning tutor, careers information officer, and most recently, a volunteer adviser for Citizens Advice. All of these roles have focussed on helping people to overcome barriers, develop skills and make progress. Nadia is looking forward to continuing to help Participants make positive changes as part of the ROAD project. In her spare time, Nadia enjoys visiting new places, vegetarian cooking and keeping active.
David Hird – Financial & Digital Coach at Citizens Advice County Durham
David has worked for various organisations in recent years including Durham County Council, Durham Action on Single Housing and Age UK Sunderland where he has helped clients to find work, sustain their tenancies, avoid homelessness and maximise their income. In his spare time he enjoys reading, gardening and long walks with his Jack Russell, Reggie.
Janine Elgie – Financial & Digital Coach at Durham Christian Partnership
Before working on ROAD, Janine was a Learning and Recruitment Officer for Volunteers at Citizens Advice and also an online IT Tutor. Her favourite element of working on the ROAD Programme is interacting with Participants. Janine’s proudest ROAD moment to date is securing her position as she is able to do what she enjoys the most. After being born in Yarm, Janine grew up in Northern Ireland, after which she moved to Durham where she has lived in a variety of locations.