Working across the Black Country (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton) to create a movement for financial resilience empower.

We are a core part of Transforming Communities Together - helping people and communities to thrive and flourish.


Our Local Community

  • The Black Country comprises parts of the Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and the City of Wolverhampton.

  • The origins of the name ‘Black Country’ are attributed to the outcrops of coal that colour the local heathland.  

  • Historically, the area was one of the most industrialised regions in the world.

  • Today it boasts a thriving aerospace  and automotive manufacturing sector, as well as being one of the most friendly areas

  • But it scores highly for inequality and financial exclusion: The 2015 deprivation measures for Sandwell and Wolverhampton are in the top 20 local authorities.

  • The 2016 ONS study put West Bromwich 2nd and Walsall 4th in top 10 most deprived towns.

  • A recent Money Advice Service report highlighted that 55% of adults living in the West Midlands have less than £100 in savings, with those living in Sandwell having the highest levels of debt.

  • The West Midlands has the third highest level of indebtedness of any region in the UK at 18%. All four Black Country authorities are in the top 8th most indebtedness in West Midlands:

    • Sandwell – 24.7% (most over-indebtedness in UK - 8.6% above the national average)

    • Wolverhampton – 21.1%

    • Walsall – 20.6%

    • Dudley – 18.1%

Source: a picture of over-indebtedness – Financial Capability Strategy for the UK


Core Activities

1) Meeting individuals, listening and assessing the opportunities in the local community.

2) Delivering UCSavvy workshops to help people prepare for Universal Credit. We partner with a growing number of organisations and charities, such as Job Centre Plus, whg and Ablewell Advice.

3) Delivering training courses to teach money and budgeting skills - we run the Cash Smart Credit Savvy programme, often as Training the Trainer courses to help other organsiations support others.

4) Talks on money in the Bible and Bible studies and resources on finance.

5) Running Lifesavers - financial education programme for primary schools, giving children the knowledge, skills and attitudes to manage money well.

6) Promoting local Credit Unions, a more ethical way of banking.

7) Promoting Payroll Saving, in partnership with Black Country Chamber of Commerce.

“I was a bit worried about Universal Credit, but now I feel more confident and I know what I need to do.””

whg Customer Lisa, who attended a UCSavvy session



Cassius Francis

Cassius was appointed as Just Finance’s Development Worker in the Black Country to promote and support responsible finance providers and improve access to free debt advice, financial capability training and appropriate financial services. 

Cassius was the Senior Pastor of the Wesleyan Holiness Church in Wolverhampton until the end of 2017 and continues to develop a church planting programme for the Wesleyan Holiness Church British Isles District.

Cassius is particularly passionate about social justice, reducing poverty, and young people. He and his wife, Vanessa, have established and run a charitable project in Haiti and Cassius also organised the Black Country Homelessness Conference 2017 on behalf of Transforming Communities Together in partnership with Housing Justice.

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BLACK COUNTRY Training & Events


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Contact US

JF Black Country
Transforming Communities Together
The Small Street Centre
1a Small Street

Cassius Francis
07946 771 495
Email Cassius