Guest blog post: Enabling ESOL clients to improve their financial health

Vicky ReboriIn this guest post, Vicky Rebori, Financial Capability Worker at the Mary Ward Legal Centre, gives an overview of the project, one of three funded by the Trust’s Innovation Grants programme for 2017/18.

The alarming growth of individual debt in the UK includes a sector of the population often overlooked: the migrant population. Individuals with English as a second language (ESOL) have particular needs setting them apart from other groups with significant debt levels. For instance, they show higher isolation, which in turn impacts on their mental health. This group consists of foreign adults, including ESOL students and economic migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. They are usually on a low income and lack confidence with the English language as well as with financial matters in the UK.

The aim of the project is to create, test and further develop training courses and materials which can be used to build the financial health of clients who have English as a second language. Despite the huge challenges represented by language and cultural diversity, Mary Ward Legal Centre have created a financial capability programme specifically for ESOL clients. In order to create the resources, we brought together ESOL tutors and debt advisers, to inform the materials we have produced.

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