Blog: The importance of lived experience and a chance to join our Board

‘When trying to solve a problem, it's important to work hand in hand with the people it impacts’
As we look to add more lived experience of financial exclusion to our Board, our Chair Richard Collier-Keywood OBE writes about the importance of lived experience to Fair4All Finance.

When trying to solve a problem, it’s important to work hand in hand with the people it impacts. After all, if we don’t have first hand insight into what people need and want, then how do we know what solutions could be appropriate? 

Financial exclusion is a complex problem that affects millions of people in lots of different ways. There are at least 17.5m people in the UK in financially vulnerable circumstances, many who are unable to access the financial safety nets others rely on like credit, insurance or savings.

Each person affected may have a different view on what’s most important to them. Let’s look at credit as one example. A common market view is that ‘price’ is everything, so APR will make the decision for people – go for the lowest APR and you’ve got the best outcome. 

However, this isn’t the case for everyone. People at the greatest risk of exclusion will have much narrower choices in terms of what’s available. They will therefore prioritise ease of access, flexibility, relationship with the lender, or a brand and customer service approach which resonates with them. 

Why is lived experience important to us?

Embedding the lived experience of people in financially vulnerable circumstances into our work is key to ensuring it has an impact on the people we want to make a difference for. The diversity of their experience plays an important role in challenging assumptions, both for us and the organisations we work with.

We want to make sure that we fully understand what it is like to not be able to access services and support from the financial system operating in the UK. 

We believe that individuals who have faced financial challenges first hand bring invaluable insights to decision making. Insights that are critical to understand what needs to change, and who we need to work with to deliver that change. 

We gather lived experience through our research programmes and we’re looking to add more lived experience to our Board, through the appointment of a new Non-executive Director.

What we’re looking for?

We’re looking for someone who is passionate about making financial services in the UK fairer and more accessible for all. By joining our Board you can play a pivotal role in shaping policies and programmes that truly make a difference.

No previous Board experience is required as we will provide a tailored induction programme and ongoing support. And we will work with you to remove any barriers to ensure that you are able to play an invaluable role on our Board. 

We’d love to hear from you by 16 June if you have:

  • Current or recent (within last 3 years) personal experience of financial exclusion, which may include (but isn’t limited to) challenges with debt, access to financial products and services, or having to use credit due to a lack of insurance or savings. It may also include people with low financial resilience after a life event such as a divorce or health challenge. This is important as we look to ensure our target audience is represented in our governance and strategic conversations
  • A commitment to the mission and purpose of Fair4All Finance
  • Great communication and listening skills
  • An ability to work collaboratively as part of a team whilst contributing an independent perspective and providing both challenge and support

Attention: We have been informed of fraudulent activity where people are offering unsecured loans using our name.

Please be careful as we do not provide loans or contact customers for this purpose. If you've been approached, please report to Action Fraud immediately via their website or on 0300 123 2040.