In Leeds, almost 70% of social housing and private rented tenants have less than £100 in savings, compared to 33% of homeowners. Social and private rented tenants, lone parents and families with children, low income, and people not in work, & younger age groups are most likely to be impacted by financial problems.

Jo Rowlands is Leeds City Council’s Financial Inclusion Manager. Jo has over 18 years’ experience in local government working in economic development, economic policy, and financial inclusion.

She has worked on Leeds’ financial inclusion initiative since its inception in 2003, developing a city-wide partnership-based approach. The financial inclusion strategy in Leeds is based on research and intelligence, strong collaboration and partnership working.

In 2016 Jo was responsible for commissioning research into problem gambling in Leeds, and worked closely with colleagues in Public Health, Licensing, the NHS, Gamcare and Gamble Aware to significantly increase awareness of the issue and the provision of local support services.

In this session from the Supporting Disadvantaged Families Conference 2021, Jo discussed the necessity for financial inclusion in increasing social mobility and tackling poverty. The importance of a strategic, holistic approach to confronting financial exclusion, and lessons from the development and delivery of financial inclusion programmes.

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Leeds City Council has been working to promote financial inclusion in the city, addressing poverty and poor life outcomes. We heard from Jo Rowlands, Financial Inclusion Manager at Leeds City Council. They discussed the importance of a strategic, holistic approach to confronting financial exclusion.

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