In this weeks Leading the Way blog, we preview the various activities taking place over Debt Awareness Week and explain why Bristow & Sutor advocates these behaviours at all times.
Debt Awareness Week (DAW) is organised by StepChange, one of the leading debt advice charities in the UK, to bring more awareness to the issues faced by people who find themselves in problem debt. At the Bristow & Sutor Group, we understand how important it is to raise debt awareness amongst all people young and old, as anyone can find themselves facing problem debt for the first-time. We must help people talk openly about debt-related issues as ignoring a situation and hoping it will go away is never the right answer.
We always encourage debtors to speak to us or to access free impartial debt advice as soon as they identify a problem and will continue to share this message whenever possible. We fully support the DAW campaign running from Monday 22nd March to Sunday 28 March, and this year we are contributing to the cause with our own energetic fund-raising activities! We aim to promote positive health choices to our employees whilst raising funds and awareness so that positive conversations around debt remain available to anyone who needs support now and in future.
How we are going to help
One of the biggest challenges employees from across the Bristow & Sutor Group will be undertaking this week is the ‘Steps for StepChange’ initiative. For the next 7 days, teams of colleagues (up to 4 per team) will measure the number of steps they can achieve each day, with both participants and non-participants alike having the opportunity to donate or ask for sponsorship via our dedicated Just Giving page. Every participant is using the 'Pacer Pedometer & Step Tracker’ app, which allows them to join the challenge, see the live leader board and share messages within the group. The winning team with the greatest number of steps will be officially announced on Monday 29th March 2021. Entry costs £10 per team, which will then be matched by Bristow & Sutor, with all proceeds going to StepChange.
We recognise the positive wellbeing implications of undertaking tasks and goals like this and believe it is good for the physical and mental health of our staff to be physically active if they can, as well as seeing what their efforts do not only for themselves but for others too. Not to mention that many Bristow & Sutor Group employees are competitive and are relishing the chance to try and beat their peers, both in terms of steps made and funds raised! Bristow & Sutor employees not taking part in the steps challenge will still be able to enjoy other daily challenges too, such as a competition to come up with the wackiest money-saving advice tips. The best advice will be featured in our very first money-saving mag which is set to be published soon.
Communicating achievements and advice
If you follow our Social Media pages, you will notice this week we are running a ‘Social Media Takeover’. All activity and updates this week will relate to DAW and will be designed to give ongoing insight to followers into how we are supporting the campaign. We will also be providing useful links and direction towards helpful related advice and services.
Internally, daily updates will be sent to all employees across the Bristow & Sutor group, keeping everyone informed and also providing links and discussion points on topics such as supporting debtors, physical and mental health, financial wellbeing, mindfulness, coronavirus implications, employee assistance programmes and much more. When we say that anyone can face financial hardship, we understand this extends to our staff too. We want to ensure that the support we promote to others is available to our people too.
What else can we learn from this week?
Collaboration between enforcement firms and the debt advice sector does not often make the headlines, but the reality is important work between both sectors takes place regularly. Many of our goals and ambitions are aligned and joint involvement in campaigns like DAW can only be beneficial for people who find themselves engaging with either type of service.
As part of our ongoing commitment to help debtors improve circumstances and outcomes, we regularly offer training sessions and presentations on our processes to debt advice providers. We attempt to add social value to every community we engage with and understand that debt advice professionals must have a strong and accurate understanding of our process so that they can discuss options confidently when these conversations arise.
Enforcement is a vital component of the debt cycle, and in many cases, it is our involvement that finally convinces people to seek help. Helping over-indebted people to resolve their problems also improves our chances of collecting their debt, which improves our collection rates. By balancing our drive for results with our relationships with debt advice providers, we will continue to support people to resolve their debt issues and exceed our clients' expectations.
Everyone across the Bristow & Group is excited and enthusiastic about the challenges we are undertaking this week and we cannot wait to see the final figures we can raise. Bristow & Sutor continues striving to provide the best service possible and is committed to its ethos of Cool, Calm and Collected.