Looking back at #FHFellowship: a rapid assessment

As Financial Health Fellowship 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to take a reflective look at the past six months and the programme’s impact. We’re grateful to our External Evaluator, Damon Gibbons (Director of the Centre for Responsible Credit), who has provided us with an initial rapid assessment of the Fellowship.

Key findings

The report’s headline findings show that the Financial Health Fellowship has been an “outstanding success”.

[Fellowship] has met its stated outcomes of embedding social purpose into the design of new innovations in this field; has improved the leadership and business skills of participants, and has contributed to the creation of a strong, mutually supportive, network with strong links to the wider financial health community.”

In particular, Fellowship attracted praise for its:

  • Responsive support. The Fellowship team provided a remarkable level of support in responding to the often changing needs of participants, leading to a high impact on their product and service innovations in this field.
  • Culture. Fellowship engendered a real community, with a relaxed learning environment, opportunities for collaboration and strong relationships of trust.
  • Curriculum. Fellows appreciated the structure of monthly sessions, which included both expert input and time to apply learning to their own projects. The mix of theory and practice was appreciated: “I had the space away from the day job to work through the guidance and concepts provided.”
  • Leadership development. Action learning and business mentorship were key elements in developing Fellows’ leadership skills. Regular, supportive feedback helped Fellows develop their capacity to lead within their projects and more widely in the field of financial health.
  • Engagement with end users. Toynbee Hall’s Money Mentors provided Fellows with useful insights about how to tailor their products’ to those who are most affected by financial ill-health.

We’re particularly pleased to share some of the feedback we received from Fellows:

“For me the Fellowship has been a game-changer. It’s had a huge impact on the way I work, and how I feel about what I’m doing. It was so timely for me to take part, and has been hugely beneficial.”

“This was a brilliant experience in lots of ways – professionally and personally. It was a really supportive group, but I was also pushed out of my comfort zone and my confidence and skills have grown as a result. I also now feel more connected to the bigger picture, having accessed a whole other realm of knowledge about the financial system.”

“There was so much wisdom in this programme and the way it was delivered. I want my own business to do that, to take as much care for the customer as the Fellowship team did for us. They made it look easy, but there was such a lot of thought behind it. You see a lot of accelerator programmes in this space, but this had real oomph!”

What’s next?

We’re looking forward to reading the full evaluation report in March 2018. This Rapid Assessment will provide invaluable feedback as we develop our plans for 2018. In the meantime, the post-Financial Health Fellowship community will continue to thrive thanks to the strong connections that have been forged between Fellows and the wider sector.

“There is such a huge amount of trust between us, and we are continuing to support each other and to work together to share contacts and resources. The biggest resource is the collective, and we really want to build on the momentum that we now have. We need to grow the collaboration, and I want to give back to the Lab and to future Fellows.”

Read the full report here.