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Cash First Communities 

Explore resources linked to the Cash First Communities conference recently held in Glasgow by IFAN and the Trussell Trust


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About the conference

The Cash First Communities: Ending the need for charitable food aid in Scotland conference was held jointly by The Trussell Trust and IFAN in Glasgow in March 2024. 


Our successful A Cash First Future conference, in March 2023, highlighted initiatives throughout Scotland to end the need for charitable food aid with a cash first approach. Shortly afterwards, in June 2023, the Scottish Government became the first UK government to publish a plan towards ending the need for food banks. 

This year's Cash First Communities conference provided an opportunity for anyone with an interest in reducing the need for charitable food aid in Scotland to consider how we can take the plan forward and embed and strengthen local cash first approaches to food insecurity. We shared learning, perspectives and plans on implementing effective cash first support in communities across Scotland.

The Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Shirley-Anne Somerville, shared a video message for conference attendees highlighting the Scottish Government's work to prioritise a cash first approach to food insecurity. Watch the video here.

Opening plenary session

1. Welcoming and opening remarks

Sabine Goodwin (IFAN) and

Polly Jones (The Trussell Trust​)

2. Cash First Bingo

Katy Kitchingham (The Trussell Trust) 

Morning workshops

1. Exploring common evaluation frameworks: measuring the impact of cash first interventions

Dr Rachel Loopstra (Liverpool University), Juanita Bernal Alvarado (Liverpool University), Aileen Morris (Fife Council), Dr Miesbeth Knottenbelt (Nourish Scotland)

2. Local leadership: learning from Aberdeenshire’s anti-poverty strategy

Annette Johnston and Denise Forsyth (Aberdeenshire Council)

3. Listening to communities: improving the development and delivery of the Scottish Welfare Fund

Kirsty McKechnie and Barbara Donegan

(CPAG in Scotland)

4. Poverty and people seeking asylum and refuge: experiences, successes and what more can be done in Scotland

Pinar Aksu and Aymen Alkhawlani

(Maryhill Integration Network)

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Afternoon workshops

1. Emergency responses: tackling infant food insecurity with cash first

Carolyn Wilson (Scottish Government), Pam Amabile (Scottish Government), Prof Flora Douglas (Robert Gordon University), Dr Erin Williams (Feed)

2. Empowering access: the value of integrating advice into the community

Bethany Biggar (Edinburgh Food Project), Tony Quinn (GEMAP)

3. Referral resilience: partnership learning from Perthshire on building a robust referral pathway

Sarah Russell (Perth Citizens Advice Bureau), Paul Smith (Perth & Kinross Council)

4. Destitution, dignity and driving forward change: Citizens Advice Scotland Food Insecurity Pilot

Tanya Gersiova (Citizens Advice Scotland), Emma Jackson (Citizens Advice Scotland)

Grow Your Vision

Closing plenary session

1. Panel: Towards a cash first UK

John Dickie (CPAG in Scotland)​

Cllr Jane Corbett (Liverpool City Council)

Graham Whitham (GMPA)

Sabine Goodwin (IFAN)

Jonny Currie (The Trussell Trust)

Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite (University of Birmingham)

2. Final remarks

Polly Jones (The Trussell Trust) and

Sabine Goodwin (IFAN)

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The Trussell Trust's Podcast - Cash First Approaches: Sharing Knowledge and Best Practice 

Join the Trussell Trust, and our partners across Scotland, on a journey as we explore how we can move towards our vision of a Scotland without the need for food banks.


To combat financial insecurity and poverty six projects innovative cash first projects have been launched across Scotland, each tailored to their specific community. These groundbreaking projects will enhance access to financial support, advice, and holistic services while preventing crisis and fostering economic security.


On this podcast we will be following the progress of each project and hearing from the experts who are designing and delivering this work.

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To subscribe to the podcast, scan the QR code or click here.

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IFAN's 'Worrying About

Money?' cash first referral

leaflet project 

'Worrying About Money?' cash first referral leaflets are co-designed as straightforward resources both for people facing money worries as well as 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 taking a cash first approach to food insecurity.

The leaflets are 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 120 local authorities in Scotland, England and Wales.

Find your localised 'Worrying About Money?' resource here.

Order free copies of the leaflets here.

Find out more about IFAN's cash first referral leaflets in Scotland here.



If you have any feedback  or questions regarding the Cash First Communities conference, do get in touch with the organising team via

You can also fill out our short feedback survey.

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