Many Sisters Project 2019-2022
About Many Sisters
The Many Sisters project was developed by Southern Housing Group (SHG) having identified a gap in the availability of financial capability support for Black and ethnic minority female tenants in East London. Many Sisters sought to test new approaches to building financial resilience and capacity creating positive financial behaviour change, helping them to prepare for financial life shocks, avoid unmanageable debt and reduce the impact of the poverty premium. In this respect the project was designed around prevention rather than providing support at the point of crisis.
The initial delivery model comprised of community-based workshops with onward signposting to one-to-one support as a form of ‘financial health check’, delivered by SHG’s Financial Skills Officers. The premise of the model was that this would create trusted relationships, facilitate conversations around financial need and enable disclosure of abuse for further signposting. The workshops would be a mix of ‘fun’ creative activities such as cooking or sewing, and ‘financial’, combined with specific personal finance sessions.
Just as the project was mobilising, SHG paused Many Sisters in response to the national lockdown in March 2020. Recognising that there would still be a need to provide support, Southern Housing Group’s Community Investment Team (SHGCIT) redesigned the model as a phone and on-line offer.
Workshops were moved on-line, broadcasted through Zoom and recorded so they could be watched live or later. Communications and materials were shared through a course-specific WhatsApp group.