Asking for financial help and advice is a strength not a weakness

Most people’s finances are stretched further than ever. By facing up to your financial situation, you can improve your future and your mental health, writes Elaine Jefferys of The Charity for Civil Servants

This year has been dominated by once-in-a-lifetime challenges for the entire Civil Service – and for every civil servant too. As a community, the challenge has been to provide essential support by implementing measures set out to reduce the financial impact of Covid-19 on the nation. As individuals, the focus has been on dealing with our own personal struggles on a daily basis.

Worrying about money can contaminate every aspect of life – our mental wellbeing, our personal relationships and our professional fulfilment. When we experience money issues, we often feel we are unable to cope or unable to control any single aspect of our lives.

But for all the mental and emotional strain we take, many of us find it impossible to talk about our finances, even to family and close friends. We believe the solution is to find someone else. Even though it feels overwhelming, it helps to talk to an expert as soon as you can. A situation can be hugely improved when the right advice is provided at the right time. By talking through worries and sharing stresses and fears, a mental space can be created to help address situations and provide empowering solutions.

Worrying about money can contaminate every aspect of life

At The Charity for Civil Servants we have a unique approach to financial assistance, from short-term measures for immediate needs to long-term solutions for complex debts. Each case is evaluated individually and we are able to offer a wide range of other services that work alongside our financial assistance. These may include referrals into our health, caring or wellbeing services, as well as referrals to trusted partners like Relate and Law Express.

Our grants team are skilled at tailoring help for individuals by offering grants for a range of needs. This could be a one-off grant to give someone breathing room, for white goods, essential household bills, help pay for funeral expenses or the cost of moving. We can’t promise to pay for everything, but we promise we will carefully consider every application we receive.

Our grants officers take a big-picture approach to financial assistance and can offer referrals to all our services. Our Money Advice and Guidance Service is designed to help you manage your finances and deal with unmanageable debt. It gives perspective on a situation that feels like it’s spiraling out of control and provides strategies to help deal with all types of personal debt.

Once you’ve got in touch with The Charity for Civil Servants, we will assign you a caseworker to help you find the right answers. We can help to challenge disputed debts; assist with court paperwork and contact creditors on behalf of those that need help. We also work with our grants team to recommend targeted financial grants when needed.

The way we manage money is influenced by many factors. We can develop a healthier relationship by understanding our own motivations. We offer resources to help with budgeting, saving, investment and pension matters.

The Charity for Civil Servants is available to help all current, former and retired civil servants at any time they need help.

Since 2014 all organisations providing debt advice are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, including The Charity for Civil Servants. To ensure high quality debt advice our money advisers are experienced and accredited members of the Institute of Money Advisers.

Our membership of Advice UK gives us access to a wide support network within the money-advice sector to help us provide additional specialised support for the entire Civil Service community. Our help service is always free, impartial and confidential and our committed and qualified teams strive to provide high-quality debt advice to all those who contact them.

We are proud partners with the Money Advice and Pension Service to bring together some especially created calculators and tools to give an overview of your financial health and to help you create a budget. Our virtual money adviser, JaneBot, can help you to navigate these tools.

For some people, the world can feel as if it’s out of their control. If this is how you or someone you know feels, please do get in touch with us and take the opportunity to understand and take charge of your financial affairs. The Charity for Civil Servants is available to help all current, former and retired civil servants at any time they need help.


Elaine Jefferys is the head of money advice services at The Charity for Civil Servants

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