CAPTION: Church volunteers in Plymouth pack food hampers for families suffering financial hardship

COVID Cash Course Helping Communities Cope

Posted: 11th April, 2021

An online course about how to help people affected financially by the Covid-19 pandemic is an important one for all church leaders working with communities to do, according to one participant.

The COVID Cash Recovery Course was created by the Just Finance Foundation.

It provides free training and resources for churches, community leaders and organisations.

The course gives them the tools to help people plan, budget and cope financially during this period of uncertainty.

Transforming Plymouth Together has been running it since September for churches across Plymouth and Devon.

Mariska packing food hampers for Feast of Fun

Mariska Minters is the Families and Outreach Worker at St Pancras in Plymouth, where she has been working with Transforming Plymouth Together to provide vulnerable families with food hampers through their Feast of Fun initiative.

She attended the COVID Cash Recovery Course in order to give financial advice to the families they work with and to be able to signpost people to the right places to find the right information and support.

Mariska said: “I really enjoyed the course and found it very informative, there was loads of information that was new to me.”

“I like that you don’t have to take it all in one go because it’s a resource that you can go back to for information, and everything is really clearly laid out and easy to navigate so you can find things again.”

The course is being run by Transforming Plymouth Together

“We’ve been doing weekly food hampers for about a year now and you build a rapport with the families, and we’ve found that as we’ve built those relationships, people start talking to us about their financial situations so we’ve been able to disseminate everything we learned on the COVID Cash Recovery Course to our volunteers so they can answer questions and share that information.”

“A lot of the people we work with are on temporary contracts, zero-hours, all of those kinds of things and it’s been very difficult for them.”

“I think if you are working within the community at the moment, you are bound to come across people who need access to this information, so I think anybody who’s working in the community with families who might be struggling financially because of COVID – and surely that’s any organization working in the community at the moment – should do the COVID Cash Recovery Course, it’s really important.”

“It’s not a daunting thing to do and you’re not expected to come with loads of information.

“You can also keep going back to the people who run the course for help!”

The COVID Cash Recovery Course takes place online and is run by Dave Manners, Project Support Development Worker for Transforming Plymouth Together.

Find out how to sign-up for upcoming sessions here.