26 April 2023

Scotland's leading debt charities, Christians Against Poverty (CAP), Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS), StepChange, and Money Advice Scotland (MAS), are drawing attention to the challenges facing the free debt advice sector in Scotland. The charities have come together to hold a conference in Glasgow titled "Needed More Than Ever", which will bring together those working in the sector and policy influencers to discuss current issues and potential solutions. A new Wellbeing Blueprint for the money advice sector that sets out key recommendations for change will be launched at the event.

The pandemic and the subsequent cost of living crisis have only deepened inequalities and led to more people seeking debt advice. While the free debt advice sector has played a critical role in helping people access advice and solutions, it faces significant challenges in meeting the growing demand for their services.

The conference aims to gather potential solutions from debt advisers and those in the sector. All four charities are committed to using their influence and platforms as leading organisations to bring attention to the challenges raised during this interactive conference to drive change for the sector.

CAP National Director Emma Jacksons said “At Christians Against Poverty, we are seeing a deeply concerning increase in the depth and complexity of issues people are facing right now.

“The free advice sector is needed now more than ever - it is vitally important that everyone in Scotland is able to access the free, professional support they need.”

Coinciding with the conference, Money Advice Scotland (MAS) will launch the "Wellbeing Blueprint" for adviser wellbeing in the debt advice sector. The report sets out recommendations for improving wellbeing in the free-to-client money advice sector in Scotland, utilising extensive research and considering the wider context of health and wellbeing in Scotland.

MAS Financial Wellbeing Manager, Jenny Pittams, said "We know that advisers face significant stress and pressure in their work, and we want to ensure that they have access to the support they need to maintain good mental and emotional health.

“We hope the Wellbeing Blueprint will be a valuable resource for advisers working in the free debt advice sector in Scotland and we are pleased to be launching it during a conference where the importance of free debt advice will be front and centre.

“The recommendations outlined in the report highlight the importance of protecting the wellbeing of advisers and contributing to the development of the sector, and serves as a call for change."

The Wellbeing Blueprint will be available to view and download from the Money Advice Scotland website from Tuesday, April 25th, 2023. During the conference, MAS will formally launch the report during a session on adviser wellbeing in the money advice sector.

The conference is expected to be the start of a constructive conversation that will help many to understand the further ways advisers and organisations in the free debt advice sector can be supported, ensuring that everyone in Scotland has access to free debt advice.