Aviva Foundation case studies

Browse through summaries of some of the organisations the Aviva Foundation is currently supporting… 

2024 Foundation partners

Aston University: Personal finance decision making, and UK ethnic minority led small businesses

The Centres for Personal Financial Wellbeing (CPFW) and Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) at Aston University, the Centre for Business in Society (CBiS) at Coventry University, and Citizen’s UK, have formed a consortium to better understand and build the financial resilience of ethnic minority-led small businesses.

This project brings together a unique mix of researchers and practitioners with expertise and track record in exploring small business ownership and financial resilience, and developing practical solutions to make a difference.

The project aims to better understand the challenges that business founders from minority ethnic backgrounds face when they start and then maintain their ventures.

Using this insight, a suite of interventions with be developed and piloted, focussing on how best to minimise risk to personal and family financial resilience when starting and growing new businesses. 

Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA): The Compass Project

SEA is the only UK charity dedicated to raising awareness of economic abuse and transforming responses to it. Everything they do is informed by the Experts by Experience Group of over 100 women with lived experience. 

With the Foundation’s support, they are working with partners in two locations to develop a model of economic advocacy as part of the ‘coordinated community response’ to domestic abuse. This project aims to ensure that local services work together to help victim-survivors of economic abuse to (re)build financial resilience. At present, many services prioritise immediate physical safety, yet do not recognise and respond to the harm of economic abuse which can often prevent a victim-survivor from safely leaving the abuser or force them to return. 

Over two years, the project plans to support approximately 1,750 cases where economic abuse is identified. Lessons learned from this work will be used to influence the policies and practices of organisations that play a role in supporting victim-survivors.

The Trussell Trust: The Organising Programme

The Trussell Trust supports a network of more than 1,300 food bank centres serving every type of community across the UK. Through this network, they provide practical, community-led support for people facing financial hardship and campaign for the systemic change required to end the need for food banks.

The Foundation’s support will enable the Trussell Trust to build their ‘organising programme’ – an initiative designed to support food banks to identify and implement ways to build the financial resilience of the people they support through locally-led campaigns. The funding will be used to build the food bank team’s capacity and skills needed to help them develop and deliver impactful campaigns.

This programme will operate across several locations in the UK, with the Trussell Trust overseeing and monitoring the overall impact, and utilising these insights to influence local change for national impact.

Mental Health Innovations with PayPlan: Shout – Supporting financial wellbeing

The mission of Mental Health Innovations (MHI) is to improve the mental health of the UK population through the use of technology. Their pioneering service 'Shout' is the UK’s only free, 24/7, confidential text service for anyone who is struggling to cope.

With the Foundation’s support, MHI is strengthening their response to supporting people experiencing mental health and financial challenges. This partnership recognises that, without understanding and supporting the root causes of both money and mental health challenges, the impact of tackling one without the other, may be limited.

Together with PayPlan, MHI will help individuals in financial distress access immediate mental health support, while signposting those suffering with poor mental health due to financial issues to relevant services. Research will inform a campaign to help people improve their financial wellbeing, as well as influencing the future activities and strategies of different stakeholders with a responsibility for supporting the mental and financial wellbeing of those who need it the most.

Turn2us: The Turn2us Response Fund

Turn2us is a national charity, whose vision is that everyone in the UK has financial security so that they can thrive. They provide practical support and information to those of us facing financial shocks and challenge the systems and perceptions that cause financial insecurity.

The Foundation’s support will enable Turn2us to build the financial resilience of around 350 people in Wales over two years. The project aims to provide immediate financial support to individuals experiencing financial distress, providing them with the ‘breathing space’ they need to enable them to identify and work towards longer-term financial goals.

Evidence from this programme will increase understanding of the structural barriers holding people in financial insecurity, and how best they can be addressed.

2023 Foundation partners

Autistica: helping autistic people and families in the UK build financial resilience and wellbeing

Autistica develop evidence-based solutions to the issues that matter most to the autistic community; shaping better services and influencing policymakers to make change happen for 1.2m autistic people in the UK.

With the Foundation’s support, they will be creating two moderated digital platforms: an ‘Everyday Tips Hub’ to support autistic people and their families and a ‘Professionals Hub’ to support organisations and professionals working with autistic people.

The Hubs will host evidence-based and community-sourced resources and tools on key priority topics, including financial resilience to empower autistic people and their families to develop financial skills and wellbeing; and support financial experts to better understand how to cater inclusively for autistic customers.

Moneyline: improving financial resilience through trialling variable reoccurring payments

Moneyline is a not-for-profit organisation, offering financial services to some of the lowest income households in the UK. Since 2002, they have issued over £100m in loans to 55,000 customers, and have opened 28,000 savings accounts with over £13.5m in savings deposited.

With funding from Aviva Foundation, Moneyline will be trialling a new payment method for a segment of their customers who are often financially excluded, for whom Direct Debits often don’t work.

They are planning to give customers more control over their finances by offering them the ability to make variable repayments on their loans. This involves providing an interest calculator, allowing them to see how much money they could save by making more frequent, small payments.

Giving organisations more insight to flexible ways to pay should open the door to offering their products to a wider group of people and in turn reduce financial exclusion.

Living Wage Foundation: growing the living wage in the North-East

The Living Wage Foundation tackles in work poverty by encouraging UK employers to play their part in ensuring that workers earn enough to live on, and participate in family and community life. Over 13,500  are accredited as Living Wage Employers, together they have put over £2bn back into the pockets of low-paid workers.

The Aviva Foundation's funding will support the Living Wage Foundation to build a regional programme in the North-East. The region has one of the highest percentages of workers earning below the real Living Wage and the third highest levels of low-paid jobs in the UK.

The Foundation’s funding will be targeted towards intensifying the Living Wage Foundation’s campaigning in the North-East to build financial resilience for workers who need good work and a wage that meets living costs. This project aims to increase the number of accredited Living Wage Employers in the North East by 500 over three years.

2022 and before Foundation partners

Nest Insight: UK financial diaries

Nest Insight is a public-benefit research and innovation centre working to find ways to support people to be financially secure, both today and into retirement.

The Aviva Foundation is supporting their innovative UK Household Financial Diaries project. Working with leading UK social research and financial wellbeing academics, the team will follow the financial lives of 30-50 low- to moderate-income households in depth over an initial 6-month period.

Findings from this lived experience of financial volatility will bridge important gaps in our understanding of financial resilience and help to generate action on the kinds of policy and market innovations needed.

Young Enterprise: supporting the financial capability of young people

Young Enterprise is a national charity that helps young people to earn and look after their money – now, and in the future.   

In 2022, through support from the Aviva Foundation, they created and piloted the RAISE app (https://raise.y-e.org.uk/). Using real-life scenarios, the interactive digital resource helps young people better understand the risks, benefits and impact of investments and long-term savings, building knowledge, skills and confidence to manage money well. 

Over 2023-25, through its Young Money brand, Young Enterprise will be working with schools, families and communities to scale up the RAISE app – aiming to build the financial resilience of 10,000 to 15,000 young people aged 14-18. 

Talking Money, St Pauls Advice Centre and Advice UK: financially resilient communities

The Aviva Foundation is funding a partnership between Talking Money, St Pauls Advice Centre and Advice UK to develop a ‘Whole Person Approach’ to providing advice to communities facing financial challenges.

The Foundation’s support has enabled the consortium to test, develop and scale up new ways of better understanding the needs of their clients, and how to meet them.

This work aims to change the way that services are delivered to better suit the needs of each person, and reduce the number of people caught in a revolving door of accessing advice and other help services.

Advice UK will share learning nationally to help the advice sector as a whole, improve services.

MyBnk: Money Works - building financial capability

MyBnk is a UK charity that provides financial education to 5-25 year olds, in partnership with schools and youth organisations. Their vision is a financially capable generation.

MyBnk's ‘Money Works’ programme aims to equip 16-25 year olds with the skills and confidence to transition into independent living and build financial resilience.

The Aviva Foundation’s support helps MyBnk reach around 200 young people a year. The programme explores topics such as savings, pensions and insurance. In England, young people on the programme are also supported to take a Level 1 Personal Money Management qualification, and in Scotland, Money Works is credit rated by the SQA at Level 4. 

Coventry and District Credit Union: financial inclusion and capability

Coventry and District Credit Union Limited provides financial products, tools and education to combat financial exclusion experienced by many people who face inequalities and discrimination.

The Aviva Foundation supports the credit union to build the financial capabilities of their members, and future members.

This includes rolling out budgeting and digital awareness courses targeting those who have been financially excluded and marginalised by barriers such as literacy, language or lack of inclusivity.