100,000 consumers to benefit from free financial education sessions

100,000 people are set to benefit from the financial education sessions, which are being funded by the Society's £3 million investment and delivered by 1,300 specially trained CAB volunteers.

Figures from Citizens Advice show that bureaux dealt with 1.76 million debt issues in 2008. Financial capability training equips people with the skills to prevent them from falling into financial difficulties and to be able to budget, borrow and save with confidence. MoneyActive will combine the reach and reputation of Citizens Advice Bureaux with substantial funding from Nationwide to support consumers on a wide range of financial issues during the economic downturn and beyond. Whilst Nationwide is providing the funding for the project, all training will be delivered by independent and impartial CAB volunteers.

New and existing CAB volunteers are currently being recruited and trained for MoneyActive, which will be operating in more than 75 bureaux across the UK in its first year, with the initiative to be rolled out in more locations over the next three years. Financial education sessions will then be available at these bureaux and other community locations for local groups and individuals to attend. Citizens Advice's online advice website, Adviceguide.org.uk, will host additional information to help people manage their money.

Graham Beale, Chief Executive of Nationwide, said: "Nationwide's £3 million investment in MoneyActive will boost the number of CAB volunteers involved in financial capability work from 100 to over 1,400, allowing many more people to benefit from financial education sessions. I'm delighted that this support will be readily available through community centres around the country, on Citizens Advice's online advice website and in selected bureaux across the UK.

"The launch of MoneyActive comes at a particularly important time because the current economic downturn looks set to continue. We hope up to 100,000 people will benefit from the financial education sessions and support Citizens Advice Bureaux are now able to provide because of our funding."

David Harker, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, says: "We're delighted Nationwide has committed to working with Citizens Advice to create a step change in the number of financial capability sessions bureaux can deliver. Volunteers are absolutely critical to the success of the Citizens Advice service. MoneyActive will provide new opportunities for CAB volunteers to train as financial capability tutors and benefit their local communities.

"Debt problems continue to be the number one issue seen in bureaux. MoneyActive is a unique and extremely ambitious project which delivers on our commitment to do more to help people avoid getting into financial crisis. Nationwide's support means that bureaux will be able to reach thousands of clients with financial education sessions and advice on money matters."

Dan Mace, MoneyActive volunteer at Kennet CAB, said: "I've been a volunteer adviser with Kennet CAB for 18 months following a lifelong career as a City lawyer. Almost straightaway I went to visit a local school to deliver a citizenship lesson on financial capability - it was eye opening on both sides. I'm really looking forward to helping to take the project to more schools, frontline workers, prisoners, carers, single parents and others in our area. Learning about budgeting, spending and borrowing is vitally important and this project helps reach the right audiences on a face-to-face basis, which is much more effective than ‘e-communication' on its own."