Economic Justice

Please note from 1 April 2016 the Resources and Resilience programme has the new name of Economic Justice Programme.

The Barrow Cadbury Trust believes that economic systems should be fair. Financial networks and institutions should improve their products and services to build economic inclusion and not erode it. By exploring good practice and innovation in financial systems that actively promote financial inclusion we can spread creative solutions and encourage new conversations and partnerships. We consider that financial resilience and inequality in communities can only improve if economic systems operate sustainably both at a macro and local level. In a period of reduced resources and capacity at statutory and community level, we are keen to build learning to strengthen local economies and to share best practice between a range of sectors, but particularly across local authorities.

Theory of change:

There is a growing gap between rich and poor in the UK, with increasing numbers finding themselves functionally destitute. Systems, policies and products for increasing the financial inclusion of the worst off are not fit for purpose. Barriers to change include vested interest, declining public spending, siloed approaches, short-termism and a disconnection between policy makers and people’s experiences. By working across traditional boundaries to harness good ideas, build partnerships and amplify the voice of those at the sharp end, we can create structural change to reduce inequalities.

To date we have:

  • Supported a cluster of work which explored the characteristics of a fairer financial system at a macro level;
  • Built a body of work which has highlighted the impact of austerity on particular equality groups and/or communities on low incomes and made recommendations on how their lives could be improved by practical and/or policy interventions;
  • Helped partners to explore how different approaches/networks of support or banking products can improve the lives of people on low incomes and/or who are financially excluded;
  • Worked with a small group of partners to understand and apply social value within commissioning and local economic development practices in the Birmingham area.

Our objectives over the next five years are to:

  • To explore and support policy, research and practical interventions to build sustainable and socially just economic systems.
  • To support work that re-imagines alliances to build economic inclusion; and uses this learning to influence policy and practice at a local level.
  • To support innovative and sustainable approaches to build voice and reduce economic inequality at a community level through partnership and new thinking.
  • Use our resources to build movements, voice and collaboration across sectors.

In 2017 we are particularly interested in the following areas:

  • Development of banking products and financial services that improve the lives of people on low incomes, or those who experience barriers to the services they need;
  • Existing or new practice that builds the financial resilience of communities through partnership – we are particularly interested in work that bring the statutory, voluntary and private sector together in ways that could be replicated;
  • Work to create more sustainable local economies, both financial and non-financial;
  • Networks and campaigns that build the ability of civil society, local communities, statutory agencies and private business to respond to and challenge national economic policy that is negatively impacting on particular groups of people;

The Trust has historic links to Birmingham.  If your work is based in the Birmingham and Black Country area, in addition to the priorities above we are also interestesd in:

  • Strengthening understanding and practice on local economies, non-financial economies and social value;
  • Building networks across sectors and communities to strengthen the voice of local people on issues relating to financial exclusion or local economies;
  • Joint working and information sharing between organisations and networks in the city that will improve the financial well-being of those on low incomes.

Making an application

If you think your work fits Barrow Cadbury Trust’s Economic Justice programme objectives, criteria and theory of change please complete an enquiry form.  We will aim to respond to your enquiry within 10 working days.

Please only fill in an application form if you have already discussed your project with us and we have asked you to complete a full application.




Key Contacts

Heather Petch

Programme Manager (maternity leave cover)
Contact Me