Please support our fantastic project, Financial Inclusion

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Aviva Community Fund

We are currently fundraising in conjunction with the Aviva Community Fund for our incredibly important project, Financial Inclusion.  

In the UK, 20% of Britons live in poverty including 1.9 million pensioners.  In the Torridge area, this is compounded by high levels of social and fuel poverty as well as financial deprivation. Sadly we see many cases of older vulnerable people who only have their state pension to survive on and barely existing, let alone living.  

Every day, our project works for people who face very tough decisions, can you imagine having to choose between paying your bills and eating?  Could you imagine struggling to cope with an illness or disability or caring for someone with dementia whilst worrying about how to afford to keep warm?

Age UK estimates that each year up to £3.5bn of Pension Credit and Housing Benefit goes unclaimed by older people in the UK, an average of £230 for every person aged 65 and over.  We estimate there is nearly £4 million of unclaimed pension credit and housing benefit in Torridge each year.

Our project makes that difference

Our project, Financial Inclusion, helps maximise income, benefit entitlements and provide access to grants for those of pensionable age often with complex health issues in an area of high social and income deprivation. 

The amount of money awarded to clients through this project now exceeds £1 million over the past 3 years.  In 2019/20, we received 205 referrals and made 299 applications for benefit help/checks, resulting in a total of £486,780 being given directly back to recipients.  All achieved by a very small team of 1 part time employee who is supported by her manager and a fantastic team of volunteers.

This year, our previous funding runs out.  We have been so lucky to have had very supportive local funders in the past, however with the ongoing pandemic, the funding landscape has changed and become incredibly challenging.

 “I don't feel so frightened about not having enough and getting into debt when I need to spend money on only what I need. Thank you so much. With the extra attendance allowance I don't have to wait so long or not at all before I can spend for what's needed.”  - Client feedback

How you can help

We are working with The Aviva Community Fund to raise much needed funds for this project and we would like you to help us spread the word of how important Financial Inclusion is to the people of Torridge.   Any donation would be so gratefully received, please click on the link to donate

Financial Inclusion - a Community crowdfunding project in Bideford by Amanda Bowen (

Our funders:

  • Torridge District Council
  • Lottery Community Fund
  • Northam Town Council
  • Bideford Bridge Trust
  • Bideford TC
  • BBC Children in Need
  • Devon County Council
  • European Union: European Social Fund