Delivering Dosh Money Awareness Training

Blog written by Steve Raw, Managing Director of Dosh

Sitting in the car park of the venue for today’s Money Awareness Training waiting for the caretaker to arrive, I am thinking about who I will meet and how the workshop will pan out during the course of the day.  It is the feeling of excitement I always experience and is similar to the one I had a couple of weeks ago when I arrived for the training I would be delivering with a colleague in the Scottish Borders.

Whilst this is not my main employment (I am/have been the Managing Director of Dosh* since 2009), it is something I love doing and I think I can speak on behalf of my co-presenters, when I say that they love it too. 

Introduction to the workshop and why

Several years ago, a support provider for people with a learning disability experienced some difficulties around their support with money.  They had received a warning notice from a regulator that they needed to remedy this situation urgently.  My organisation (Dosh Ltd – Financial Advocacy at  became part of the solution by delivering workshops across the country for their managers and leaders.  This is something we quickly found we enjoyed and, from the feedback we received from delegates, were good at it too.  Since then, we have been providing our training across England and Scotland.  (Not yet in Wales or Northern Ireland, but never say never!)

What the workshop includes:

  • Concepts and Values – the support options around money for people we support
  • Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 and Best Interest Decisions
  • Financial Safeguarding
  • State Benefits Awareness
  • Introduction to Banking and Banking options for people with a learning disability
  • Budgeting, Money Planning, and the Dosh ‘Money Plan Game’
  • And a Q & A about supporting people to be more independent and have more control over their money.

Each delegate receives a Money Awareness Workbook which includes information and resources. 

Related.  Dosh – Play the game  featured in our workshop is an interactive a game which was specifically designed for people with a learning disability.  Delegates also have an opportunity to play the paper version during our day together.

Delivering training to a team in Sutton in Cambridgeshire

Five things we can do:

  1. We can customise our workshop to fit the needs of your colleagues. Recently in Scotland an organisation wished to have a focus on Banking; in another part of the country, we were asked to include a presentation on ‘Safeguarding’.
  2. We make our training accessible for the people attending our workshops. Dosh delivers training to people with a learning disability, support teams, their managers, social workers, and finance teams
  3. We can deliver workshops anywhere in England, Scotland, and Wales
  4. Share our workshop presentation in a pdf after our training so that candidates do not need to worry about note taking during the session.
  5. We provide a follow-up service after the workshop.


What the day involves:

Chocolate! Yes, you read it correctly.  We have an activity that you can actually eat and when your energy is beginning to sap, we come to the rescue with a liberal sharing of sweets. 

We spend time getting to know our delegates, especially during the activities and the breaks.  We find out what worries and challenges them and about supporting people with their money.

Working alongside our delegates as the workshop progresses.

We use a range of media and training methods including videos, film, power point, flip chart, paper exercises and Q & A sessions.

Five things that make us different?

  1. Financial Advocates who deliver the training also support people daily with their money and state benefits to bank, budget, and plan.
  2. I am a parent/carer for a woman with a learning disability who copes with autism, so I bring a family member’s perspective to the table.
  3. We share stories and experiences from our ‘day to day work’ to illustrate our presentations.
  4. We do not stick rigidly to our programme – if the class wants us to focus on a particular area during the day, we can adjust our programme.
  5. Our support and training do not end when the workshop finishes as we share our contact details with delegates so they can continue to request information and answer questions they may have thought of after the training.




Feedback from our recent workshops

“Very Informative” “Enjoyable, learning” “Nice and friendly speakers” “Friendly, nice speakers, learning enjoyable” “Enjoyable, easy to understand and interact” “It was spot on”  “Very good well presented” “Enjoyable”  “Enjoyed the day”  “Good action points to take away”  “Very good training session very informative” “Very informative and fun” “Valuable information and sweeties”     

The best thing about today was:  “Gaining more confidence around supporting people with their money” “I will, apply this to my work in the future”

If you would like to hear more about our training and would like to book a workshop, here are some of, out contact details

Information about our training:

email:                    Angela and Kerry [email protected]

email me:            [email protected]

Note:  * Dosh is a not-for-profit company, supporting adults with a learning disability to have more control and independence with their money, since 2007.


March 31st, 2023

Posted In: Banking, News and Blogs, Stories

Planning for the Future



Many people who have a family member with a learning disability fear what will happen when they are no longer around to care for them.

This Blog covers some of the main things you can think about to help prepare for the future.





Planning for benefits and banking

  • If you manage the benefits of your relative with a learning disability as their appointee or deputy, it is important to plan for if you are no longer around or not able to get the money out.
  • If you build a financial circle of support for your relative, their future will be more secure as they are not dependent on one person.
  • A circle of support could include family, friends, support workers or other people who want to be part of the life of your relative.



  • Some charities will support you to build a circle of support. They are listed below so you can find one local to you.
  • You should also make sure that key people such as family members and support staff know important money information:
  • Which bank are they with?
  • How is this money accessed (PIN, signature, appointee)?
  • Where are financial documents kept?
  • You could also look for other support options, such as a financial advocacy or appointeeship service that could take over in the future.

mental capacityPlanning for financial security

  • A Will is a written and legally binding document, which tells people what to do with money and property when you die.
  • Anyone over 18 can make a Will if they have capacity.
  • To have capacity they need to be able to answer ‘yes’ to the following questions:
  • Do you know what a Will is?
  • Do you know what things belong to you?
  • Can you choose who gets your things after you die?
  • If someone with a learning disability would like to make a Will, they should get written confirmation of their capacity from a solicitor and a medical professional before they make a Will.
  • Wills are legally binding, but that does not mean they cannot be contested. It is important to seek legal advice when writing one.
  • As well as a solicitor, you could also get support from an accountant or independent financial advisor.


Making a Will

  • Most people never make a Will, but it is important to create one even if you do not have a lot of money.
  • If you die without a Will, the law sets out how your assets will be divided (the Intestacy Rules).
  • This may not be what you would have chosen.
  • For many people, the main objectives of writing a Will are to:
  • Name the person (an executor) who will be in charge of making sure your wishes are followed
  • Pay off any money you owe
  • Provide for your family and decide how you want your estate to be divided
  • Create a secure financial future for a relative with a learning disability (a Discretionary Trust, see below)
  • Ensure there is a guardian for children under 18
  • Avoid delays, conflict or confusion
  • You should involve your family and other people who are involved in your life in this process so that you can create a clear plan and help everyone to understand your wishes for the future.
  • You should regularly review and update your Will to make sure it is still appropriate to your circumstances.


Creating a Discretionary Trust

  • Many people with a learning disability are dependent on means-tested benefits, so they may lose some benefits and have to pay for their care costs if they inherit money directly.
  • A Discretionary Trust can provide a structure to manage their money and protect their entitlement.
  • A Trust is a legal arrangement set up by a solicitor. It states:
  • Who can benefit from it (beneficiaries)
  • Who can manage it (trustees)
  • What the funds can be used for
  • The beneficiaries could be a single relative with a learning disability, your extended family, or even a charity.
  • A trustee must look after the assets of the Trust, and must spend the money in the best interests of the beneficiaries and in line with your wishes.
  • You need to name at least two trustees in your Will. These should be people that you trust completely, and who are committed to the long-term responsibility of managing the Trust.


Resources and support

Creating a circle of support


Finding a solicitor

  • The Disability Law Service can support you with finding a solicitor with experience of future planning for people with a learning disability
  • You can find a solicitor by calling the Law Society on 0870 606 5555 or on their website
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau can advise you about solicitors near you. Call them on 08444 111 444 or visit your local office
  • You will probably have to pay your solicitor, but you can get free legal advice with Legal Aid if you are over 70 or have a disability. Find out more by contacting Community Legal Advice on 0345 345 4345 or visit | Community Legal Advice



informationWhere can I get more information?

  • Making a will
  • Information on trusts
  • Contact Dosh to discuss support options for your relative for the future, including financial advocacy and appointeeship for benefits.



January 20th, 2023

Posted In: News and Blogs, Uncategorized

Mark’s Story

Earlier in the year, Mark expressed that wanted to replace his trike and discussed the idea with his Dosh Financial Advocate who suggested he visit a supplier for a suitable Trike to get some prices.

Whilst shopping around it became clear that he would not be able to fund this solely on his own, but over the year Mark managed to save just over half the amount by following the budget he had agreed with Dosh to give him some savings so he would have more choices.

Mark and Dosh also looked around for additional funding and following further discussions we put together a grant application to his care and support provider for financial assistance.

Before putting in the application, Mark and Dosh discussed this with everyone involved so we all knew what we needed to do to achieve his goal.

Mark then came up with the idea that he could use his new trike to do a sponsored bike ride and raise the funds to repay the grant.  We added this proposal to the grant application, what an excellent idea!

Success! The grants team loved the idea of paying it forward and agreed to give Mark the funds he needed, so the trike was ordered and payment was arranged.

Now as you can see Mark is off and enjoying life on the road!

December 6th, 2022

Posted In: News and Blogs, Stories

Banking Guide – Part 2




How can I get support with Banking?



1. Tell the bank what support and changes you need to help you. Build up a relationship with your local bank, so that they know you and what you need.
2. Ask what reasonable adjustments they can make, for example, to help you take money out of your account easily. Ask what they can do for people with a disability.
3. Ask the bank staff to check with their specialist disability team. They can give staff extra support and information.
4. Ask about the different types of accounts they have.


Remember the important laws:
• The Equality Act says people with a disability must get equal access to banking
• The Mental Capacity Act helps people make their own decisions and explains how to check someone’s capacity.
• Banking laws on identity, data protection and clear information.


With Capacity Without Capacity
Support (Reasonsable Adjustments) Appointee Account
Third Party Mandate Court of Protection – Single Decision
Joint Account Court of Protection – Deputy
Basic Bank Account Lasting Power of Attorney (If this was set up when you had capacity
Ordinary Power or Attorney
Lasting Power or Attorney

These accounts are slightly different with each bank.
They may have different names and work in different ways.                                                                                                                         Ask each bank to tell you what they have



How to deal with problems?



1. Ask them to explain their decision and what else they can do to help you.
2. Ask if they have a disability or customer services team that can help them or that you can talk to.
3. Speak to the manager in the bank.
4. Speak to the bank’s head office.
5. Make a formal complaint to the bank.
6. Report the problem to the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Conduct Authority.
7. Contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service helpline, Disability Law Service or Citizens Advice Bureau.
8. Think about taking the bank to court.

October 10th, 2022

Posted In: Banking, News and Blogs, Stories

Being Bettina’s Dad – Being a Carer.

Being Bettina’s Dad – Being a Carer – A blog written by our Managing Director, Steve Raw.

This is Bettina. Bettina copes with autism and a learning disability.

Bettina is our pride and joy.

Dozing on the settee after a hard day’s work my pager started to beep.  I woke up and phoned my transport department.   They had the call that Joyce was going into labour, and they were sending a vehicle round to our flat to rush me to Berlin Military Hospital (BMH).  We were 10 months into a two-year tour of occupied Berlin, and it was still a couple of years before the ‘Wall’ was to come down.

Within a couple of hours our beautiful daughter Bettina had come into our lives.  It would be another 18 months before she was diagnosed with severe autism and a learning disability, but that didn’t matter to us (and still doesn’t) she is our beautiful daughter and love is enough.  Being Bettina’s Dad: When love is not enough to keep you Safe and Secure – Leadership in the Raw

As I write this article, I have just received an invite from MacIntyre Families @MacFamilies  to be interviewed for a podcast.  MacIntyre Families work with “all families ,siblings and circles of support to ensure voices are being heard, understood & importantly working together.”

So immediately I started thinking of the answers to potential questions and writing an article I could share which may help other carers and people who have an interest in supporting people.

Joyce and I are super organised and from the moment we got together we started planning.  Having two daughters was always the plan, although I must admit that being a parent carer was not in the action plan.

“Most things don’t work out as expected but what happens instead often turns out to be the good stuff”  Dame Judi Dench

On reflection, and 35 years of supporting Bettina, Dame Judi was quite right that it does indeed ‘turns out to be the good stuff’.  ‘B’ as she is often referred to by her family, has enriched our lives and has taught us on what is important and what really is unimportant.

How has she done this?

Part 1.  “Everybody has plans until they get hit for the first time”.  Mike Tyson

1992 was not our family’s best year.  Both my mum and father-in law passed away within weeks of each other; I had a severe bout of flu at the beginning of the year, and Bettina was permanently excluded from school halfway through her first term!

  1. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and those experiences drew us even closer together as a family knowing that we were dependant on each other and meant that we could bounce back and take on the world on behalf of Bettina.
  2. Money was super-tight at the time, as we had only just bought our first house and the interest rates skyrocketed to 15%, but we managed to find some money for a week in Great Yarmouth, our first holiday as a family – we still reminisce about that holiday – but we have found that when Bettina spends (intensive) time with her family on her hols she progresses at an increased rate, and she certainly did that year.
  3. With lots of teamwork, perseverance and love we got through 1992. Bettina quickly returned to school under its new leadership and enhanced provision.

Part 2. “Make up your mind that no matter what comes your way, no matter how difficult, no matter how unfair, you will do more than simply survive. You will thrive in spite of it.” —Joel Osteen

We thrived in spite of it:

  1. Joyce set up a support group for carers which morphed into a Carers Centre which also provided for Young Carers – the most vulnerable of carers.
  2. In 1996 on retirement from my Army career I started a new career in social care supporting adults with a learning disability. I am still thriving 26 years later as a Managing Director for Dosh supporting adults with a learning disability to have more control and independence with their money.
  3. Over the last 30 years Bettina has brought laughter, fun and joy to her family. We have grown together while always keeping a sense of perspective thanks to ‘B’. I truly think there is nothing we can’t face as a family.


Part 3 – “I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” Audrey Hepburn


Five fun things we get from being a carer for Bettina:

  1. As Bettina does not appear to have any concept of age both, Joyce and I are expected to function at the same energy level we did 30 years ago. I live a completely different life to the one my parents did at the age I am now.
  2. While Bettina’s verbal communication is limited, she does astound us sometimes with her opinions when she suddenly joins in the conversation at the dinner table. This often happens when I am pontificating about something.  Bettina suddenly comments “I don’t care” which has us all falling about with laughter.  A side eye from ‘B’ tells us she meant it.
  3. Bettina’s sayings and phrases are unique to her (‘B’ often creates new ones too) and she often expresses them in public – we know what they mean but fortunately the general public do not!
  4. Bettina gets us out of social engagements we don’t want to be part of. No extended family on Christmas day for us.  “Bettina needs calm and quiet”
  5. Bettina helps us find and hold on to our “inner child” too easily lost when you become an adult: Being Bettina’s Dad: Finding your inner child and not forgetting to lose it – Leadership in the Raw

A quote for Bettina’s family and all carers:

“When written in Chinese the word “crisis” is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”

Thank you, Bettina, for giving us a lifetime of opportunities.

Bettina with her big sister, Jennifer, and her dad.

Woolacombe Beach 2022

Picture courtesy of Joyce Raw (‘B’s tiger mum)

July 27th, 2022

Posted In: News and Blogs, Uncategorized