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Cash First Referral Leaflets

Find local advice and cash first support

About the Project

'Worrying About Money?' cash first referral leaflets are co-designed as straightforward resources both for people facing money worries and support workers. The step-by-step guides identify which local agencies are best placed to help people maximise income and access any existing financial entitlements and their design is based on learning from Scotland's A Menu for Change project. Since June 2020, IFAN has collaborated with local authority teams, advice providers, food aid organisations and other local stakeholders to co-produce cash first referral leaflets for over 100 local authorities in Scotland, England and Wales.

IFAN publishes the leaflets online, helps to disseminate printed copies as widely as possible, and produces poster, translated and interactive versions. Thanks to the Highland Money Counts Partnership, resources to enable training sessions linked to the leaflet are now available on request. IFAN also works with partner organisations to run virtual launch events and to support Money Counts training sessions. ScotCen's report on the impact of 'Worrying About Money?' leaflets in Scotland was published in November 2021.

The aim of the project is to reduce the need for charitable food aid by helping people access any existing financial entitlements and advice on income maximisation as a cash first approach to food insecurity. You can find out more about the project below and access resources on why a cash first approach to food insecurity is fundamental to ending the need for charitable food aid here.

  • Reports, Blogs and News Coverage
    Report on work to develop 'Worrying About Money?' leaflets in England. Published October 2023. Read the report here. Scottish Government progress report 'Infant food insecurity: summary report' from an event held in June 2023 on infant food insecurity in Scotland. Read the report here. Report on work to develop 'Worrying About Money?' leaflets in Scotland between April 2022 and March 2023 (August 2023). Read the report below. ScotCen's impact findings report on the 'Worrying About Money?' leaflets in Scotland was published in November 2021. Read the full report below. IFAN and Nourish Scotland's report on the co-production of the leaflets in Scotland - 'Promoting a ‘cash first’ approach to food insecurity in Scotland: Lessons from developing ‘Worrying About Money?’ leaflets' can be read below. A webinar by Sustain in February 2021, Cash First Approaches to Food Poverty, referenced 'Worrying about Money?' leaflets. The webinar can be watched in full here. The North East Child Poverty Commission report, The Safety Net Beneath the Safety Net, recommends that every local authority in the North East works with IFAN to co-develop a cash first referral leaflet. Read the full report here. The Scottish Government's draft national plan to end the need for food banks references the cash first referral leaflets that are currently being co-developed in Scotland. Trussell Trust area manager Emma Greenwood describes the partnership work involved in co-developing a local cash first referral leaflet and promoting a cash first approach to food poverty in Cornwall here. Read Sophie Padgett's blog for IFAN on the Shropshire 'Worrying About Money?' leaflet and shifting the conversation around food insecurity. Read Sabine Goodwin's blog for the Sustain website on finding cash first hope through the co-development of the 'Worrying About Money?' leaflets. This provides an overview of the project up to February 2022. For more resources visit Why Cash First?
  • 'Money Counts' training sessions
    If you'd be interested in running basic training sessions linked to the 'Worrying About Money?' leaflet, first developed by the Highland Money Counts Partnership, please contact us at We will be able to share resources and information. Register interest in training sessions being planned in: Southwark Sedgemoor Tower Hamlets Wandsworth East Renfrewshire Cheshire East Kingston Stroud and Cotswold West Suffolk
  • Feedback?
    If you would like to share feedback on how you've used the 'Worrying About Money?' leaflet in your area please use this form. We'd be really glad to hear from you.
  • Events
    Event 08.02.23 - Building Cash First: Sharing local lessons to reduce the need for charitable food aid | WATCH HERE See more details about our upcoming events here.

If you're interested in co-producing a 'Worrying About Money?' leaflet for your local area please contact IFAN at


Feedback on our co-developed referral leaflets

Councillor Alasdair Christie, Deputy Leader of Highland Council

This is a great piece of joint work and supplements all the other work that has been going on to make sure people are aware of all the support that is available to them and who to contact to get it...the guide is concise and clearly laid out with all the details and information on support available across the Highlands in the one place.

Ayshea Cross

Plymouth Food Aid Network Coordinator

An important tool to tackling poverty in our city. Whilst food parcels remain an important, and often essential provision at a time of crisis, they aren’t dealing with the root causes of financial insecurity and are therefore just a temporary fix. Plymouth has many excellent services available for anyone with financial concerns, and this leaflet is a simple and easy to use resource to help agencies and volunteers offer appropriate assistance.

Sophie Padgett, Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance Coordinator

The new ‘Worrying About Money?’ leaflet for Shropshire has been really well received, people have told us it is straight forward and easy to use. We’re so pleased to be able to offer people this resource. The leaflet has really helped to empower local groups and individuals to know what cash-first support options are available in Shropshire.

East Berwickshire Foodbank

How exciting to receive them! They look great and really very clear to follow.

Braes Storehouse Food Bank

This leaflet is absolutely brilliant! Just what we've been looking for... all the information and useful numbers in the one leaflet. It's so easy to read as well. A great piece of work. We'll start distributing it next week in our food parcels.

Storehouse Bo'ness

Thank you for the leaflet you have compiled. It is excellent and will be of good use to us when we deliver our food packs to houses.

St Mark's

Debt Advice

We have certainly seen an increase in referrals coming from a wider geographical area, a wider range of referrers and many more self referrals since the leaflets were launched. I can't prove a direct link but I'm sure it has had a positive impact and been very useful for those people finding themselves affected by the cost of living crisis and looking for some support with budgeting and debt management.

Jen Coleman

Black Country Food Bank

The Worrying About Money has been very well received across a wide variety of front line organisations across Dudley who are keen to make sure that people can access the most accessible financial help available before being directed to a food aid charity. The leaflet is easy to use and training front line workers takes minutes. The leaflet is an incredible tool which builds partnership in community and empowers people to access the help they need.
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