Last year, ICMIF member OneFamily (UK) launched its first Inspiring Better Futures report. As a socially aware business, this is one way in which OneFamily demonstrates its commitment to improving the life chances and financial wellbeing of everyone, but especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
OneFamily’s focus is firmly on its social impact by building financial resilience, promoting life-long learning and championing financial inclusion. The mutual achieves this through the products it offers and the ambitious projects it has underway to support others.
This year’s Inspiring Better Futures Report, whilst looking back to OneFamily’s work in 2021, has themes that will resonate strongly with the challenges that people are facing today, driven by the cost-of-living crisis and inflation that’s at the highest level it’s been for 40 years.
So, OneFamily undertook some background research to accompany its report, which it used to reaffirm the direction of travel
Teddy Nyahasha, CEO, OneFamily says: “The results were quite an eye-opener. Our research showed that just 22% of over 55s believe that today’s young people will have the same life opportunities that they had. Behind this startling figure, 84% percent pointed to the cost of property being much higher, 72% highlighted the rising cost of rent making saving for a deposit impossible and 53% were concerned about the effects of inflation on the real value of cash savings.
OneFamily’s research also found worries about the impact of the climate crisis on the futures of the young and fears that lockdowns hit the educational outcomes and mental wellbeing of the next generation. Meanwhile, nearly one in three of those who expressed concern said that those from disadvantaged backgrounds would be especially impacted because they are not encouraged to aspire to more in life.
Teddy Nyahasha says: “This isn’t right. We have to do more to help those who are struggling, who are dispirited and think there’s no hope. As a responsible business we’re actively looking for ways to support those who need our help. At a very basic level, we’re designing our products so that they are accessible to everyone, regardless of their means. So, ordinary families can gain the benefits of investing in the stock market which, over the long term, will help them to beat the impact of inflation. Similarly, our whole of market equity release advice simplifies the process with a fixed fee and friendly support that can help asset-rich but cash-poor older people to live a more comfortable life.”
OneFamily is partnering with charities that look after people when they are most in need, such as the young and homeless. These are long-term commitments that will see OneFamily providing funding, expertise, advice and staff time. Teddy Nyahasha says: “We’re not just throwing money at a charity and thinking ‘job done’, we’re rolling up our sleeves, getting stuck-in and doing whatever we can to help. That might mean helping at a foodbank, refurbishing a youth centre, providing mock-interviews for school children or giving technical expertise to a charity that needs help with its website.”
Nyahasha continues: “Standing up for the rights of others and using our voice to bring about change is another way that we’re making a difference. We’re supporting the young, the disadvantaged and the marginalised to help them towards the futures that they deserve. We’ve also campaigned hard for a change in the law that puts right the unfairness that some families face.
“As a member owned organisation, I’m proud that we can reinvest our profits for good. We’re doing what we can to improve the life chances and financial wellbeing of those who need our help. But there’s no quick fix, this needs to be a long-term vision that we embrace as a nation. I think we can all do our bit for the next generation. Inspiring Better Futures for everyone, that’s surely something we all want to get behind,” Nyahasha concludes.