Background full of random shapes

#ThroughTogether stories: Money A+E


Money A+E. Putting lived experience at the heart of service delivery.


London is full of amazing people who have come together for each other during the most challenging of times. Thrive LDN is excited to spotlight just some of the people making a difference to fellow Londoners.


Money A+E is an award-winning social enterprise that provides money advice & education to disadvantaged groups, Diverse Ethnic Communities (DEC) and young people.



Money A+E


Jerry During founded Money A+E in 2011, alongside co-founder Greg Ashby. He told us how the organisation came about, and why lived experience matters so much.

“I had experience of debt and financial exclusion as a child. My dad was made redundant, so we experienced what it was like having bailiffs round and threats of repossession. I remember a lot of stress and strife in the family home. Those feelings had a big impact on me.

“Seven years later and my parents were happy and managing again, their mortgage was paid off and they were going on holidays. I asked my dad how he got back on track despite how difficult things were for him.

“It did take him a lot of time to talk about it, but he identified two key things. When he hit rock bottom, he eventually found the courage to speak to people in his community – family, church – who all came together to offer support. He realised others had been through this and had advice and strategies to share.

“Second was that the support he received from an expert advice charity on legal and debt in the community. Those two key themes of support run through all the work we do.”

Jerry met Greg, who himself has experienced financial difficulties when younger, at Toynbee Hall in 2007 when Jerry was running an advice service in East London. As two black men from the same area, they had seen how people in their community were suffering in silence and not getting the support they needed. It was through these experiences that they created the beginning of what became Money A+E.

And these days many people who work at A+E, helping and advising others, were once clients or volunteers in the organisation, have had money or debt issues in the past and are from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Money A+E provides advice and education for anyone facing financial challenge to achieve money goals. Although clients are primarily adults, there is an education service for secondary schools, reaching year 10 and sixth formers. Young people are trained to support their peers to support themselves and they can also develop into money mentors, supporting their peers and community.

Clients come to Money A+E through Local Authorities, housing associations, community groups and other debt and money advice services as well as word of mouth from their peers who have used their services in the past. The team also reaches out via social media networks.

They promote services and give bite-sized financial education via social media, a monthly newsletter and their website. Resources are kept up to date for our service users to access the best energy deals, mental health services and other beneficial services/resources to support them on their financial journey.

Jerry described how demand is growing. “From the start we have had the financial crisis then austerity, then Brexit, Covid, and now the cost-of-living crisis, energy crisis and housing crisis. To be honest, it’s just different names for the same thing. More people are struggling. People are getting into more debt. Financial exclusion and social barriers continue to keep people in poverty.”

In 2023, Money A+E advisors supported clients across 30 London boroughs to manage £4,624,015 in debt and to be £1,444,324 better off (financial gains). In total 3,129 adults and young people accessed high quality money advice and education, higher than any previous year. To handle this demand, the team grew by 50% from 16 to 24 staff members.

“The cost of living crisis has pushed most of my clients into a situation where they don’t know what to do any more to tackle money and debt issues, struggling to pay their basic bills. Our service is vital for people in our community, showing them that there is somewhere that they can get help.” Thomas Crozier, Money Coach advisor.

Partnership working


Money A+E has been working with Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust since 2022 to support the Trust in enhancing its financial wellbeing offer to staff. Money coaches and the education team provide financial education workshops, while the advice team are available for 1-2-1 and group sessions to tackle specific areas of need that the staff at the hospital have raised.

In that time:

· 3,378 Trust staff engaged with Money A+E advisors across Trust sites

· 1,739 staff face to face support in a specific advice and guidance area

· £154,945 of debt was managed through staff receiving advice

· £128,396 of income was gained for trust staff

Money A+E finds that debt and financial exclusion is closely linked to three other issues – housing, poor employment, and poor mental and physical health. They, like many community organisations in London, partner with other experts and trusted local groups to link debt advice with mental health support. They also use their social media networks to support people with mental health advice and signposting.

Jerry and the team have big plans for the future, to help to meet demand and the growth of complex needs. They are focusing on developing their lived experience steering committee, to continue to place experience of debt and financial exclusion at the heart of all that they do.

There’s even a bricks and mortar housing project being explored, with locations and funding being explored. This comes from the organisation’s recognition that secure, supported housing is essential for people facing financial exclusion.

In the meantime, current demand continues to soar. Jerry explained; “Our waiting lists are getting longer and longer. So, we are championing a Grow Your Own Advice approach, taking people with lived experience of debt and training them up as advisors so they can give that support to their peers and communities.”

Find out more about Money A+E on their website.