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28 February 2018

Sound as a Pound closes its doors

Today, our award winning Sound as a Pound project officially closes its doors, after five years supporting financially vulnerable tenants in Nottingham City.

The innovative project set up with funding from the Big Lottery, was a partnership between NCHA, Framework, Nottingham City Homes, Tuntum and Advice Nottingham.

Originally set up to support financially vulnerable young people living in Nottingham City (particularly, those that were at risk of financial exclusion and homelessness) it quickly became apparent that there were older people in need of support and the range was extended to all age groups.

In its five years of operation, over 3,000 referrals were received by Sound as a Pound and over 1,500 were directly supported. Almost 1,200 individuals received a home visit, with many receiving multiple visits.

Support included a team of financial inclusion workers, who visited beneficiaries in their own homes. They helped by reducing barriers to learning and allowing for bespoke support packages to improve financial confidence.

The support offered was incredibly successful. Nottingham City Homes reported that 95% of the people that had been referred in the last four years have maintained their tenancy.

Sound as a Pound also developed a training course ‘Money Talks’, which looks at different methods of budgeting money. In two years, over 270 people have benefitted from this course and it continues to be delivered following the closure of Sound as a Pound. For more information on this course, contact Chris on 07710 730 869 or email chris.ounsworth@ncha.org.uk

An award winning service

Sound as a Pound was unique in its recruitment of volunteer peer mentors who assisted with the delivery of the project. Volunteers were often those who had themselves benefited from the service.

Of the 40 volunteers, eight achieved a qualification from the National Open College Network and two peer mentors gained a Central Regional Awards from the National Institute for Adults Continuing in Education (NIACE).

One peer mentor received a certificate of acknowledgement from The Community Stars Awards from Nottingham Express Transit in recognition of their contribution and an NCHA certificate for completing over 300 hours of voluntary work. Another received a ‘Good Neighbour’ award from the Sheriff of Nottingham.

In its last year, Sound as a Pound went out on a high by winning the regional award for ‘Innovative Project’ from the Festival of Learning, an annual awards scheme from the Learning and Work Institute. 

Thank you so much to all the staff and volunteers who have made Sound as a Pound such a wonderful success, and supported so many individuals over the past five years.

For details of alternative support, please visit: careandsupport.ncha.org.uk/sound-as-a-pound-closed