UCL student Finn shares about volunteering for Money A+E and the student experience during Covid-19.
How did you first come to be involved with Money A+E?
During my university course, Nadine Tchaho presented Money A+E as a guest speaker in our finance, prosperity and debt module. After her inspiring speech she mentioned that Money A+E is looking for volunteers. I picked up on this and came for a Money Mentoring class to get an experience of Money A+E’s practice.
I also talked to Greg and asked him about his experience as the Director and I offered to volunteer should there be any need. Before I had the chance to volunteer, Greg and Money A+E staff actually did me and my student colleagues a big favour and agreed to be interviewed for a student research project. I remained in touch afterwards and am happy to say that I am now able to return the favour and provide some help for Money A+E.
There is a remarkable feeling of purpose and support in Money A+E’s staff...most staff members themselves have experienced debt, so the support comes from a real place of understanding.
What has the experience been like?
There is a little bit of a learning curve that I had to climb myself, as Money A+E’s staff is usually very busy, especially during COVID. I like a challenge, and it has to be said that whenever I did approach my point of contact, Greg, he has been very quick to answer my questions and provide a little nudging concerning the direction of the research.
What was your research about?
The research was about exploring the question "How does debt education promote prosperity?" We found that Money A+E not only provides advice on money management, but that the openness and time given to listen to clients is key to helping people out of their debt problems towards a more prosperous life.
Openness and time given to listen to clients is key to helping people out of their debt problems towards a more prosperous life.
Why did you decide to volunteer?
There is a remarkable feeling of purpose and support in Money A+E’s staff. Everyone is aware of the seriousness of debt problems, most staff members themselves have experienced debt, so the support comes from a real place of understanding. Money A+E offers more than technical support on how to manage money and debt. They take time to listen and understand you as the person you are, and I think this is incredibly valuable. As I had spare time for a volunteering project, I did not have to think very long to offer support.