Opening a Connect Centre

Debt advice work is life changing. It’s not just about money, it is about enabling people to escape from circumstances that have blighted their lives.

To open a CMA Connect Centre is to make a commitment to supporting people with debt and money problems. Face to face work with clients is central; it is so important for the client to have real human contact with someone both compassionate and professional, not a nameless voice on the phone. CMA provide training to undertake this work, a role we call a Money Mentor. You'll help clients learn to manage a household budget within their means, and when you have understood their financial situation (income, expenditure, debts) you will collate that information and pass it on to a team of CMA employed debt advisers (CMA Hub Advisers) who will undertake the regulated debt advice for the client. You'll have a specific Hub Adviser for the client; you'll share casework progress on CMA's cloud based case management software (Catalyst); and maintain close communication between yourself, the client and the adviser via phone, email, post and video-conferencing, as required.

To run a centre you will need: a manager and Money Mentors, and you'll operate within CMA's policy, procedure and operational framework. CMA provides full support, guidance, documentation, and the software you need to achieve and manage this.

But it isn't just about the money ...     

Debt can cause the breakdown of relationships, health, homelessness, depression, fear, anger and shame. It can also potentially lead to serious addiction problems and even suicide. If you are thinking of setting up a centre you need to be driven by compassion for those you are going to help.

Opening and running a CMA Connect Centre starts with a clear vision and commitment to helping those in your community who are really struggling financially. It is important to understand that establishing a centre requires organisation and some hard work. Most importantly, once you begin to see clients, you and your team will be making an, often long-term, commitment to helping them.

All Community Money Advice centres must offer unconditional, completely free to client services and must operate within all current legislative requirements. If you decide this is right for you. CMA can provide you with all the support you need to establish and maintain your centre. We keep our charges to a minimum, so that small as well as large groups can get involved in this work.

If you would like to know more about the support CMA can offer, or if you are interested in setting up a centre and would like to request an information visit from your local CMA Support Manager click on the links below. You can also access the CMA affiliation application form using the link below

CMA is able to offer the following to those investigating starting up a Connect centre:

  • Resource booklets, P&P templates and guides for everything you need to setup & run a Connect centre
  • A dedicated local Operations Support Manager (OSM) to help you through the whole startup process
  • CMA bespoke Money Mentor training program enabling complete novices to become trained Money Mentors
  • All debt advice is provided by CMA Hub debt advisers, allowing Money Mentors to concentrate on supporting each client throughout all the stages of advice and establishment of any debt resolution option
  • Freephone & email adviceline twelve hours a day, five days a week
  • Annual national conference
  • Sector news & updates including guidance on legislative changes
  • Catalyst CMA's bespoke debt management casework software and support
  • CMA's Setting Up a Connect Centre booklet is included in the Connect Enquirer's Application Pack above. For a read-only .pdf of this please click here

 

For us at Family Central it is more beneficial to be a ‘Money Mentor', allowing us to spend more time with a client and support them in a more holistic way and being able to encourage and motivate them to begin to take positive control of their finances and referring to the CMA Hub service for debt advice.