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:

Jamie Blackburn – Financial, Employability and Digital Team Leader 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.

Nicky Lawrence - Financial & Digital Coach at Pioneering Care Partnership

Born in the North East, but grew up in Africa due to Dad’s job. Worked in hospitality and catering before moving into training. Most recent role was supporting prisoners in HMP Durham to prepare for release by delivering employability skills, training and coaching. Best part about working for ROAD is helping to make a difference to others. I enjoy baking and Rugby Union – watching, not playing!

Faye Smith – Financial & Digital Coach at Citizens Advice County Durham

Faye left the commercial marketing world after deciding to retrain and follow her desire to work with people. She believes in ‘real people helping real people’ and knows that by implementing small, yet positive changes, we can make all the difference to the way that we live our lives.

Nikola Law – Financial & Digital Coach at Citizens Advice County Durham

Nikola has joined the ROAD team from a background in Housing. She has many years’ experience in the charity sector and empowering people to fulfil their dreams. Nikola studies Philosophy and believes that all individuals have the ability to be something great. Nikola is looking forward to meeting participants and helping to improve our community through employment.

Amanda Leslie – Financial & Digital Coach at Citizens Advice County Durham

Amanda is from the Darlington area, and prior to joining the ROAD team had a background in banking & finance, self-employment and career progression delivering the Next Step employability programme at QESFC. A belief in supporting local people by investing time, offering help and assistance to understand an individual’s needs. Amanda enjoys running and yoga in her spare time.