West London Mission has received a grant to help carry out financial capability work to improve people's digital skills, help them communicate more confidently and support more people to become financially resilient. 

The NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund supports local not-for-profits with community-minded projects, such as financial literacy programmes for disadvantaged families or projects that support enterprise and entrepreneurs. Over the last four years, more than £2.5 million annually has been distributed by RBS Group fund administrators throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

During the selection process for the latest round of funding, communities were invited to have their say on a shortlist of 100 projects, with thousands of people voting for their favourite via the #skillsandopportunities hashtag on social media.

WLM St Luke’s team commented: “We are very excited and grateful to have received a grant from the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund! This grant means that we will be able to continue our work to empower people to overcome the many barriers to financial capability. So many people are faced with financial exclusion, low income and high levels of debt, and find it daunting to regain control of their finances, which has a significant impact on their wellbeing. 

We will deliver bespoke workshops, increase our 1:1 Money Coaching to the wider community, support confident communication and increase digital inclusion. Our community outreach volunteers will extend these even further to reach and support as many people as possible. 

The grant from NatWest will allow us to keep helping everyone in the community to make positive changes in their lives.”

Rachel Blackamore, Managing Director of Personal Banking in the London and South East Region, and Chair of the selection committee, said: “There were so many incredible project ideas, and the hard work and creativity from the participating organisations has been very inspiring to witness. We know local organisations are already really effective in driving positive change in their communities, so the ethos of the fund is removing the financial barriers that might otherwise have hindered those plans. The latest and final funding award takes the total issued by NatWest to London and South East organisations over the last four years to almost £2.5 million. This has helped to establish 386 new businesses and has created many more new employment opportunities for local people.”