About

Navigate…Our Vision

To eliminate social isolation and financial hardship.

Navigate…Our Mission

To equip individuals and communities with the knowledge, skills and capabilities to overcome social isolation and financial hardship through high-quality, accessible advice services.

Navigate is a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), registered on the 13th February 2019 Charity number 1182020. The work of Navigate was founded in 2011 as a natural development of the work of Wessex Resolutions CIC.

Navigate is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (837950) for debt-related regulated activities. A member of AdviceUK. Most of our specialist advisers are members of the Institute of Money Advisers.

Navigate’s work benefits those individuals and families facing financial hardship and exclusion by reason of youth, age, ill health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage in Somerset and Devon.

I woke up for the first time in 7 years and had some money in my bank account – I cannot tell you how good it feels.

BGET Client

Meet The Navigate Team

CEO

Mel Allen

Mel works full time for Navigate and is driven by her desire to tackle social and financial exclusion. Mel worked for Wessex Resolutions CIC for 13 years, with 10 years as a Senior Manager for the organisation. Mel was instrumental in the development and implementation of money and debt advice services and has been responsible for all advice activity since its inception including; fundraising, building stakeholder relationships, managing and monitoring performance and developing new products and services in response to the growing needs of people facing social and/or financial exclusion.

Mel is supported by an experienced team of advisers and community development officers. Navigate are committed to delivering high quality, accessible services and all of us are extremely proud to be part of a team effecting positive change and achieving incredible, sometimes life changing, outcomes for the people we work with.

Financial Inclusion Officer

Jan

Jan has been a valued team member for over four years and works across all of our projects. Jan is an experienced money, debt and benefits adviser and is usually the first port of call for any new referrals into our service. Jan supports clients and referral partners in checking they are eligible for the service and providing immediate advice and support over the phone to ensure there are no emergencies that need immediate intervention. Jan is always willing to go the extra mile to support people and ensure they receive the best possible service!

Money Advice Supervisor – West Somerset

Claire Summers

Claire has worked for Navigate for 3 years as a Money Advice Caseworker and more recently has been promoted to the Money Advice Supervisor. Claire works across West Somerset to deliver the home visiting money and debt advice service, as one of our specialist advisers she has a wealth of knowledge and experience in money and debt advice. Claire is instrumental in ensuring that our services remain relevant and efficient and in supporting the team with their money advice casework. Claire leaves no stone unturned when working with our clients or the team to ensure the highest quality service and best outcomes for the people we work with!

Money Advice Caseworker – Mid Devon

Abbie Doble

Abbie joined the team in November 2018 as a part-time Money Advice Caseworker for the BGET project. Abbie works Monday and Thursdays and delivers money and debt advice across the Mid Devon district through home visits. Abbie’s background is in housing and homelessness and she has a wealth of experience to support clients with their financial difficulties. Abbie has a “can do” approach to her role and is driven by her desire to help people and effect positive change.

Money Advice Case Worker – Mid Devon

Elizabeth Everett

Elizabeth is the newest member of the Money Advice Team joining Navigate in April 2019. Elizabeth works part time from Mid Devon District Council Offices delivering money and debt advice to local residents. Elizabeth has been a money and debt adviser for many years and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to support people facing financial difficulties.

Local Welfare Adviser and Navigate the Money Maze Trainer

Kim Payne

Kim joined the team in January 2018 and delivers Local Welfare Support in Mid-Devon. Kim also runs our Navigate the Money Maze courses across Devon and Somerset. Kim’s background is in the education sector where she specialised in supporting and tutoring adults and children with additional needs, behaviour challenges and Autism. Kim is extremely passionate about education and has delivered numerous Navigate the Money Maze courses to upskill and build participants’ confidence in budgeting and managing money. Kim has a bubbly personality and an ability to make any situation or topic fun (even talking about budgeting!)!

Money Advice Caseworker - Mid Devon

Becky Little

Becky has recently returned from maternity leave and is currently working on the BGET project across Mid Devon. She delivers debt and money advice to people who are struggling with mental health issues alongside their financial difficulties. She enjoys being an advocate for people who do not have a voice as well as encouraging them to take action for themselves. She is enthusiastic about money saving and is a keen follower of Martin Lewis from the moneysavingexpert.com (she loves to find a bargain!).

Communication and Learning Officer

Julie Matthews

Julie joined the team in October 2020. 

She has a background in education, both in schools and adult education. She has worked within mental health settings, care homes, learning disability services and social care.  She has extensive experiences of working across Devon in community-based projects, in both an employed and voluntary capacity.  

Julie enjoys networking and bringing people together to make positive things happen, and much of her work has been around this. She brings a lot of creative energy to the post, and enjoys thinking outside the box and approaching things in an original way. 

Navigate…Our Objectives:

1) Equip individuals and communities with the knowledge, skills and capabilities to prevent financial hardship.

2) Educate individuals and communities in financial literacy and capability, building skills, knowledge and confidence to manage money effectively.

3) Empower individuals and communities to tackle social isolation through community development activities.

4) Provide innovative, high-quality, accessible, responsive services which build and share learning to inform practice, encourage greater sector investment and to facilitate effective integrated working.

Our work is split across 3 areas:

Prevention

Navigate offers a comprehensive money and debt advice service. Our client’s needs are at the heart of our service.   Every person is an individual, with their own set of circumstances.  We understand this so we tailor our approach and deliver a service that suits our clients.  We want our clients to feel empowered and we deliver our service in a style that clients can relate to and engage with.

Our specialist advisers offer a wide range of 1:1 advice and support to individuals to help prevent financial hardship.  We deliver our advice mainly face-to-face, visiting our clients in their own homes.  Appointments can also be made at outreach locations across our project areas.

Financial hardship can affect anyone at anytime.  We can help people who are:

  • finding it difficult to pay their heating bills
  • struggling with debt
  • borrowing money for essential spending
  • worrying about their monthly repayments
  • wanting to prepare a flexible, realistic, budget
  • being made ill by money worries
  • coping with changes to their welfare benefits
  • facing financial difficulty and need help

To find out more about our preventative money and debt advice services please click here.

Education

Free, fun and interactive workshops delivered through a series of games.

Navigate has developed a highly interactive educational workshop called “Navigating the Money Maze”.  Participants are helped to ‘navigate’ their way through the money maze by using money-saving tips, and useful information. This helps participants to  manage their money more effectively and build some financial resilience for when things go wrong.

During the Navigate the Money Maze courses we:

  • Talk about money – budgeting, borrowing, banking, income, debt
  • Provide tips on how to make the most of your money
  • Talk about financial jargon and what it actually means

Courses are run throughout Devon and Somerset and are open to individuals, groups, clubs, carers, family members or anyone who finds it difficult to manage their money.

To find out more about our educational courses, please click here.

Community Development

Navigate work with a wide range of statutory and voluntary sector organisations.  We believe strongly that partnership-working adds depth and value to the activities and communities we work within. We want people to benefit from better financial resilience and reduce the stress and anxiety caused by social isolation. Engaging in social activity improves the well-being of the individual and wider community.

Navigate has a formal partnership with Encompass Southwest known as “Wiser£money”. The partnership was formed in 2012 and currently delivers a number of Financial Inclusion services across Devon and operates under a formal partnership agreement.

Encompass Southwest is a community-based charity that delivers advice and support services to people living in the rural districts of Devon who are experiencing crisis, hardship & homelessness. To find out more about Encompass please visit their website at:

https://bpag-encompass.org.uk/

Community Well-being events:  created with our partners to provide the opportunity for members of the public to:

  • talk about money and debt, to ask questions and get information
  • meet face-to-face with local services and community projects
  • have informal conversations about health and advice needs
  • get involved in a new activity

Our Stakeholder Forums are held every 6 months to review project progress and partnership working with local voluntary and statutory-sector organisations. These forums are well-attended and provide a valuable opportunity to network and share knowledge.  We facilitate discussions about the issues and challenges we face and how they impact on our clients and service-users.  We provide updates on any new projects we are starting and welcome feedback about existing projects.

To find out more about our Community Development work, please click here.

Navigate…Our Achievements….

we have:

Developed a strong community development programme focused on service providers and consumers and gained a reputation for high quality, dependable delivery.

Built and shared learning to inform practice, encouraged greater sector investment and facilitated effective, integrated working.

Created a network of advice and support by working in partnership, deep in the community, alongside third and statutory-sector organisations, complementing their services and equipping them to respond to and refer individuals with identified needs.

Provided tailored combinations of services which help clients address a range of financial issues.

Innovated services which meet the needs of vulnerable groups; offering face-to-face solutions to people in their own homes.

Continued to strive to improve our processes so we deliver the absolute best we can for our funders and our beneficiaries, without sacrificing the quality, impact and development of our service.

Delivered educational workshops, uniquely developed to equip clients with the tools, strategies, skills and knowledge to help manage their finances in a fun, interactive and engaging way.