A visit from Bank of England Chief Economist

On Friday 28th September, the Smallwood Trust hosted a visit by Andy Haldane, Chief Economist of the Bank of England. Andy met with representatives from two of Smallwood Trust’s project partners, InSpire and Working Chance both based in London. This event was part of the Bank of England’s Outreach programme which enables the Bank to meet and listen to a wide variety of people from communities and backgrounds across the UK. This helps the Bank in its decision making.

The Bank of England has been the UK’s central bank for over 300 years. It has a range of responsibilities and powers which include setting interest rates, printing bank notes and overseeing a safe financial system.

InSpire and Working Chance invited some of the women they work with to the event which gave Andy Haldane the chance to listen to their lived experiences of poverty, hear their views and understand the issues they face.

InSpire, based in Walworth runs InSpired to Work, a holistic programme for young women seeking employment. The intensive casework support enables early identification of barriers to employment, alongside continued mentoring and coaching providing young people with the necessary emotional and practical support to overcome many of the challenges that they are facing.

Working Chance in Islington finds employment for two interrelated constituencies of women: care leavers and ex-offenders. Their mission is to empower women ex-offenders and young women care leavers to become financially autonomous through employment and to cross the social divide from a life of exclusion to one of contribution.

After the day Andy said, “I spent a fabulous day visiting two of the charities supported by the Smallwood Trust – InSpire and Working Chance.  It was an inspiration to hear about the tremendous and important work they are doing to support women in their lives and into employment.  By transforming women’s lives for the better, the work of the Trust and its charities is supporting the economy and wider society”.

The Smallwood Trust, InSpire and Working Chance are extremely grateful to Andy Haldane and his team for this opportunity that has enabled the voices of women facing multiple disadvantages to be heard. Andy Haldane writes more about the event on the Bank of England’s website


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