Access to financial independence at Botton Village

Access to financial independence at Botton Village

Cash remains essential for many people. However, bank and ATM closures continue. As a result, access to cash is more important than ever for vulnerable people and those living in rural communities.

‘It’s a ten-minute drive to the Co-op if we want to get cash, so I always have to plan and ask a support worker,’ says Daniel.

Access to Cash pilot scheme

Earlier this year, Botton Village was chosen by the Access to Cash scheme to trial and test scalable solutions to help keep cash sustainable.

The scheme provided:

  • A new learning zone with IT equipment and education sessions
  • A free-to-use ATM
  • A pop-up Post Office in the village shop

Our community at Botton Village and the individuals we support are dependent on cash. As a social care provider, we were keen to empower people to become more financially independent, improve self-responsibility, independence and budgeting skills which is far easier to achieve when people have access to their cash.

‘I have learnt a heck of a lot in the past year, including how to use my cash card and even got some cashback last week, I could not do any of this last year,’ says Daniel.

The Community Access to Cash Pilots ended on 31 October 2021 and the full report has been published.

Landmark agreement

As a result of the pilots and the findings of the report, UK Finance and the largest retail banks and building societies have made five commitments to continue to preserve access to cash for consumers and businesses over the long term to provide certainty that cash access will be available for individuals and businesses to both withdraw and deposit cash, now and in the future.

  • Ensuring that cash will be available for those who need it, particularly small businesses, the elderly and the vulnerable when they need it
  • Supporting the Community Access to Cash Pilots
  • Working together to consider possible models for future access to cash that addresses changing access requirements and meets the needs of customers and communities
  • Protecting current critical cash infrastructure until a viable alternative to cash is available
  • Establishing and maintaining a framework to enable early identification of potential cash ‘cold spots’.