The Revd Cassius Francis has been appointed as Just Finance DevelopmentWorker for the Black Country. He will work with churches and local communitygroups across the four boroughs, including Dudley in our diocese to help themost vulnerable become better financially equipped, supporting the work ofother organisations such as Christians Against Poverty, Community Money Advice,whg (Walsall Housing Group) and Credit Unions.
Just Finance is a national charity which was established toincrease the supply of fair and affordable credit, build financial capabilityand develop fair financial systems in local communities. The Archbishop ofCanterbury is the charitys President and the Black County is now the fourtharea in the country to benefit from a dedicated development worker.
Cassius is a Minister with the Wesleyan Holiness Church andtrained for ordination at Queens Theological College in Birmingham. He said:I wanted a role which would enable me to engage practically with people andoffer support. Too often the most vulnerable only have access to credit at thehighest cost. People dont assess the high interest levels and can quickly getinto a cycle of debt which its difficult to escape. Just Finance offerspractical skills around budgeting and financial knowledge and a key part of myrole will be to help people to access these.
Cassius can offer training for church and community groupsto help them support people in their communities. There is a session onidentifying loan sharks in Dudley on 11 April and if there is a groupinterested, its also possible to arrange a train the trainer session onsimple budgeting skills and helping people be more prepared for the impact ofUniversal Credit. He is also planning some work with schools to help youngpeople become more financial savvy.
Im new to Dudley, but I have worked in the Black Country,so in my first few months it will be really helpful to get a sense of whatshappening on the ground, said Cassius. What are churches hearing and seeingand are issues of debt increasingly significant to their mission and ministry?I will be trying to get out to meet people and I would love them to get intouch with me come to the training sessions, or simply drop me an email orgive me a call and let me know what youre doing.
Cassius can be contacted on email@example.com 07891 611 760. He is also in the early stages of planning a Just Financeconference for the Black Country on 31 May in Walsall. More details to followsoon. To find out more about JustFinance please log on to https://justfinancefoundation.org.uk/