Our impact and annual reports

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2017 was another busy year for the Trust as we help people across the UK to tackle their debts and manage their money with confidence.


In 2017 we helped more people than ever before – making a difference to more individuals through National Debtline, more small business owners through Business Debtline, more advisers and their clients through Wiseradviser and more people in vulnerable circumstances through our growing training and consultancy work in the credit industry.

We continued to place partnership working and collaboration at the core of what we do. Our strong relationships across the advice sector, government, regulators and the private sector help us to work together to improve the UK’s money and debt enivronment.

The difference we made to people in debt

National Debtline helped 140,500 people on the phone. We helped a further 43,500 people through our webchat service. In addition there were 1,362,500 visits to the National Debtline website.


The difference we made to small business owners

Business Debtline helped 29,200 people on the phone. We helped a further 7,100 people through our webchat service. In addition, there were 167,300 visits to the Business Debtline website.


The difference we made to the advice sector

Wiseradviser provided 11,100 training places to 3,231 advisers in 980 free-to-client organisations across the UK. 4,400 advisers used the Wiseradviser website to access training and other learning resources. 85% of free money advice agencies access Wiseradviser training.

In 2017 we identified which courses were most needed. We did this by monitoring trends in the types of debts people reported to us and through analysis of our annual training needs survey. We launched five new face-to-face courses, five new online courses, held five webinars on three subjects, and launched vulnerability cards for advisers.


The difference we made to the credit industry

Our team of vulnerability experts worked across a range of sectors including financial services, water, energy and retail in 2017. We delivered training to 44 creditor organisations and 6,700 staff to help them improve how they work with people in vulnerable circumstances.

In 2017 we expanded our range of face-to-face and e-learning courses to help creditor staff to support customers with a wider range of vulnerable circumstances. This work is complemented by our consultancy work with creditors, developing strategies, frameworks and policies on vulnerability.


Our Innovation Grants

The programme supports innovative debt advice projects, and aims to improve the quality and range of money advice available in the UK. In 2017 we funded three projects:

  • Easy Money – Mencap Liverpool: Delivered and produced a user-led financial literacy workshop programme, utilising Easy Read resources for people with mild learning disabilities and/or with autistic spectrum disorder.
  • Improving financial capability of ESOL students – Mary Ward Legal Centre: Created a training course and materials to build the financial health of clients who have English as a second language.
  • WhatsApp debt advice – Citizens Advice Manchester: Tested WhatsApp as a digital access channel, a follow-up channel and a casework ‘keeping in touch’ system, creating a mobilisation plan and training package.

Our approach to impact and theory of change

Our services put us in a unique position to understand why people fall into unmanageable debt and the challenges they face. Reviewing and evaluating the impact of our services is important to us. We use regular feedback from the people we help, across all our services and channels, to understand the impact we have and make improvements to our services. The framework we use to evaluate our impact is set out in our theory of change. This shows us how the Trust contributes to helping people across the UK to tackle their debts and manage their money with confidence.

It helps us to:

  • show exactly how our work makes a difference; and
  • demonstrate how our activities contribute to us achieving our overall vision.

Our high-level theory of change is as follows: 


To read more about how we measure our impact please see our Theory of Change.  

View the Trust's Impact Reports


Impact Report 2017

Impact Report 2016

Impact Report 2015

Impact report 2017
Download the full impact report.
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