Dosh Banking Guide Part One


In 2014, we created a report called Making Banking Easier. Our report highlighted some of the problems faced by people with a learning disability when banking.

It’s now 8 years since we published our report, and people with a learning disability still face many of the same challenges when banking. The advice we gave in the guide is still as important today as it was back then.





About Bank Accounts Bank Account

Bank accounts are a way to look after and use your money through a bank or building society.  Bank accounts are used for a lot of different things. You can put your money into your bank account, whether its from work or benefit payments. The money in your account can be used to pay bills and buy things you like. You can also keep money in your account to save for things for the future, like a holiday.


Banks can offer you a lot of different services. They can offer loans, mortgages and more. They also offer different types of bank account including Savings Accounts, Basic Bank Accounts, and Current Accounts.

If you have a bank account, your bank may write to you about the other services they offer. You should check carefully before you agree to anything new, and talk about any changes with a friend or advisor.

Getting a Bank account

You should be careful when signing up to a bank account or another banking service. You need to make sure you know what you are signing, how it will work, and how much it will cost you. Speak to someone you trust before you agree to anything with your bank.

Changing and closing your bank account

If you’re not happy with your bank account anymore, you should speak to your bank. They will be able to help you to close or change your account. It is easy to change or switch your bank account to one you would prefer. If you find an account you would like to switch to, speak to this bank who will help you switch from your old account.

Sometimes your bank will make a change to your account. If this happens, they will write to you to explain the changes they are making.


How can I get support with banking?

Whilst you don’t have to tell your bank about your disability, it can help if you tell them what adjustments and support you need. This could be physical if you require a wheelchair, or supporting you to understand the information the bank is giving you.


What should banks be doing?

  • start by assuming that you have capacity.
  • have different types of accessible information before you get a service (like advertising) and when you get the service (like in letters). They must tell you about these and make them available.
  • support you to understand the information they give you.
  • offer different ways of accessing a service and tell you about these. This should include internet and phone services.
  • have branches that you can visit. Some banks have a branch near you, or let you use their services through the Post Office.
  • accept different things as proof of identity. They can tell you what different things they accept as proof.
  • judge someone’s capacity to make a decision by following the Mental Capacity Act, if they are worried or unsure about someone’s capacity.
  • explain why they will not give you a service or how they have decided that you do not have capacity.
  • aim to use the least restrictive option for people who lack capacity.
  • offer each person the best access to banking for them. This could include different types of bank accounts that can be used with support if someone does not have the capacity to manage a bank account by themselves.


With Capacity

If you have the capacity to manage a bank account but still want some support, there are different things you can do, including:

Support from your bank: Banks can give you different types of support. For example, they can give you a chip and signature card, instead of a chip and PIN card. A PIN is a secret 4-digit number you usually have to remember to use your card.

They can give you information in different formats (like Easy Read) and they can explain things to you if they are hard to understand.

Third party mandate: You give another person temporary access to your bank account. The bank will have a form to let you do this.

Joint account: You share a bank account with another person and you both have full access to the money.

Basic bank account: You have your own bank account but it has some limits on what it can do. The details are different between the different banks.

They are for people with a low credit score, people that do not want an overdraft and people that want to limit how much they can spend and reduce the risks and costs of having a bank account.

Ordinary Power of Attorney: You give someone else control over all or part of your money and finances. This will stop if you lose capacity.

Lasting Power of Attorney for property and financial affairs: You give someone power over your money and finances when you still have capacity.

They can help you manage your money if you would like them to, even if you have capacity to do so yourself


Without capacity

Appointee account: Your appointee (the person or group that manages your benefits for you) has a separate account for your benefit money (like the Dosh Client Account).

Lasting Power of Attorney for property and financial affairs: You give someone power over your money and finances when you still have capacity.

Later, when you lose capacity to look after your own money, your attorney can step in and manage your money and property for you.

Court of Protection decision: This is usually for a one-off or single decision, for example the court decides to let someone else sign a tenancy agreement for a house for you.

Court of Protection Deputy for property and financial affairs: The court decides to appoint someone (your deputy) who can make decisions about your money for you, if you cannot make those decisions yourself.

Your deputy must work hard to support you to make decisions about your money yourself. The deputy must only step in and make a decision for you, if you cannot make that decision, even with lots of help and support.

If you are interested in these options, speak to your bank to find out what they can offer you. The details of each account will be different between banks and it is a good idea to ask what other options they offer.

Remember, make sure you understand all the information about any banking service before you sign up for it.

If you want more information about making legal changes like power of attorney or the Court of Protection, visit the website

July 17th, 2022

Posted In: Banking, News and Blogs

Dosh Strategy for 2022-23

Dosh logo

Dosh Strategy for 2022-23

Dosh’s mission continues to be for people to have more control and independence over their money. More particularly, Dosh’s purpose is to empower, give voice to and enable everyone with a learning disability to be more independent and have more control over their money to live the life they choose.


Our 10 Commitments for Dosh in 2022-23

Dosh 10 Commitments for 2022/23

  • We make ‘commitments’ because we are committed to doing what we say we will do. (we are not in the business of ‘wishing’ or ‘hoping’)
  • We ‘Endeavour’ (showing real intent to see things through to the end because ‘trying’ doesn’t cut it for Dosh)

  1. Project 2000

The Dosh Board and Managers met in November 2021 to work on their company strategy from 2022 – 2025: identifying our goals, the strategies necessary to accomplish those goals and the internal performance management system that will be used to monitor and evaluate progress.

To encapsulate this strategic direction Dosh will launch ‘Project 2000’ to get Dosh ready to support 2000+ people in three years

In 2022/23 we will meet our objectives set out in the Project Implement Document for Project 2000.

  1. Wellbeing and Diversity

Supporting staff wellbeing, diversity awareness and engagement

We believe our employee wellbeing can directly improve the mental and physical health of the workforce, with general health being linked to increased levels of productivity, performance and retention and reduced absence.

In 2022/23 we will celebrate diversity, ensure wellness & wellbeing and active engagement with our colleagues, and regularly ask them how they are feeling.

We will look at our systems and processes to keep our colleagues safe when supporting people

  1. Access to Money

Promoting better access to money for the people we support

We will look to create better access to spending money and cards for people we support who may not have capacity for banking/spending and inclusion in digital and online payments and spending.

We will carry out research into banking products which will empower the people we support to have quick and more responsive access to their money when they need it.

  1. Quality Assurance

Knowing we are doing a good job and ensuring consistency and quality as we grow

We will review our quality strategy and introduce specific roles in the team to take a lead on managing and developing quality across Dosh.

We will work with The Quality Company during 2022/23 on new Quality Assurance protocols which put the people we support at the centre of everything we do

  1. Risk Management – for people we support

                                                  – for our company

Making smart business decisions and being well managed

We will identify safeguarding risks to people we support with their money and seek to mitigate harm.

We will  evaluate risks and identify potential risks for our Dosh colleagues. .

We will evaluate risks and identify potential risks to our ‘business’ and company.

We will develop our business and management policies and operational processes including when someone is no longer supported or passes away, how we deal with complaints and how we report our performance. This will give clear oversight so that we make conscious, clearly recorded decisions.


  1. Leadership & Management

We will continue to build self-leadership and self-organising teams to enable dynamic and flexible leadership, growth, and development.

All of our team members are involved in communications and connections with colleagues, stakeholders, commissioners, families, and the people we support, and we consider each one of them to be a Leader.

Our  colleagues have been recruited for their values, beliefs and competencies and their desire to make a difference to the life of a person with a learning disability. We are a democratic company, and each member has an opportunity to make an input, contribution and change to the way we support people and the way our company is directed.



  1. Co-Production

If Dosh is to deliver successful services and support, we must understand the needs of the people we support and engage them closely in the design and delivery of those services.

Co-production is an approach where people, family members, carers, organisations, and commissioners work together in an equal way, sharing influence, skills, and experience to design, deliver and monitor services and projects.

Real co-production means that people are truly involved in planning and designing services from the very beginning.

We will work with people and those who are significant in their lives to make this happen in 2022-23.



  1. Finance – Quality and Affordability

  We will continue to exercise caution and control over our Budget and Budgetary management during 2022-23

We will continue to review how we monitor, evaluate and report on our management accounts, so that we become financially stronger and more sustainable.  Dosh will also consider Growth and Consolidation (in specific areas and regions of Great Britain) during this business cycle.

We will look at ways of making our support and services affordable for the people we support while catering for peoples unique and specialised needs


  1. Social Impact – Empowering People to lead fuller lives and reaching their full potential

  Understanding the relationship between actions, impact, and outcomes through data and information we gather

We will make a significant, positive change that addresses a pressing social challenge.

For Dosh creating social impact will be the result of a deliberate set of activities with a goal matching this definition.

We will fully align our social impact management and reporting with Thera Trust


  1. Support to Thera Trust

We will add value to Thera Trust

This will include:


  • Research and pilot projects
  • Impact management – we will provide physical and logistical resources as and when needed
  • Social media – we will promote Thera companies’ media at every opportunity
  • Membership of committees and communication groups
  • Leadership Development and Training
  • Input into policies & procedures
  • Supporting ‘Open Innovation’ and collaboration across the Group


We will regularly evidence and report on our endeavours to meet each of these commitments.  We will do this through:


  • Chairpersons Report to the Thera Trust Board
  • MD Reporting to the Dosh Board
  • Social Impact Reporting to Thera Trust
  • Weekly to the Dosh Team via the end of week Dosh Newsletter


May 4th, 2022

Posted In: Dosh Strategy, News and Blogs

The 3rd Leadership Lesson I learned – Surround yourself with Talent









The 3rd Leadership Lesson I learned – Surround yourself with Talent

Standing in front of a room full of colleagues, I am about to open the Dosh (Financial Advocacy) Ltd*  conference as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary as a company.

*  is a ‘not for profit’ company and part of a charity supporting adults with a learning disability, with their money.

I look around the room and sense the anticipation, enthusiasm, and energy.  Once more I am surrounded by talent.

My colleagues have been recruited from the world of banking, local authorities, and social care and two team members are musicians!  They all share a commitment and passion for supporting people with a learning disability to have more control and independence over their money.

This was the third leadership lesson I learned in my first career in the Army – if you want to achieve great things, make a difference in other peoples lives and leave a lasting legacy you can’t do it on your own.

Always surround yourself with people who are even more talented and competent than you.” ~ Stephen Covey “If you have great people around you, they will take you higher than your dream will. Leaders are never self-made”.

How this has worked for Dosh in Five Ways: 

  1. Colleagues who have specific areas of expertise freely share their knowledge with each other which has a knock-on benefit for our customers.
  2. We recruit people for their values, knowledge, life experience and their leadership skills – all of our colleagues are leaders.
  3. Succession planning and Business Continuity has never been an issue for Dosh, we have always had colleagues ready and willing to step into the ‘breach’ whenever there is a need.
  4. You know when you have a successful team – it is when their ideas outnumber yours. Dosh has continued to thrive because of these ideas.
  5. We have sought out other teams within our wider organisation who can support us to deliver for the people we support: IT, Marketing, Contracts, Management Accountants, HR, Fundraising etc.  Super talented colleagues who we call ‘Friends of Dosh’ and we ensure that we express our gratitude for their help and support on a regular basis.


How surrounding yourself with talent has made me a better leader:

  1. As a leader you don’t have to have all the answers – my talented colleagues do!
  2. I have learned from those around me – how they work things out, how they see things from a different perspective and what they know that I don’t
  3. I have been able to progress my teams’ objectives so much quicker for having surrounded myself with talent.
  4. One of the leadership highlights in both my careers has been able to play a small part in developing people and progressing their careers. Their success will be my legacy.
  5. It has stopped me from being complacent. When you are surrounded by talent you need to perform to your highest standard every day.

10 Tips on how to surround yourself with talent and retain them:   

  1. Recruit and select people who have different backgrounds – go for diversity.
  2. Never stop talent-spotting even when you don’t have vacancies. I am constantly looking for people I may want to work with, join our team and be part of my network.
  3. You need to be secure in yourself as a leader and not feel threatened by people who are going to challenge what you do and what you think.
  4. Strive to build a reputation that you welcome and support talent.
  5. Find responsibilities that will challenge your talent, so they develop and feel accomplished
  6. Constantly be looking for opportunities for your colleagues, not just within your team, so they develop their portfolio of experiences.
  7. Don’t hold your colleagues back, if they move on then try to retain them within your network. This is something we strive for in Dosh, regularly inviting our former colleagues to our team events.  We never forget what they did for our company, they are our ‘Legends’ and are referred to as such.
  8. Look for people who are values-driven, have a positive attitude, lots of energy, and have a track record of delivering results.
  9. Always thank colleagues. As a manager at a Registered Care Home many years ago, at the end of every shift I personally thanked each colleague.  It was always a privilege to work with them.
  10. It is also important to work for good leaders. I have been incredibly fortunate to have worked for some amazing people who continue to be part of my network and influence my leadership and management.  In the early 90s I had the good fortune to work with Army officers, five of whom I am still in regular contact with and often call on their help and support.

And finally………

You know when you are surrounded by talented people – at the end of the day you are happily exhausted.   The venue where we are holding our company conference is huge with a labyrinth of corridors.  I don’t need to ask for directions to the restaurant, I just need to follow the growing sound of laughter and chatter of team members.

When you surround yourself with talent and recruit characters bristling with humour, ideas, and conversation, it’s a good place to be.

Angela Atkin a super talented colleague, the first team member and longest serving employee for Dosh Ltd

Cutting the Dosh 15th Anniversary Cake.



April 12th, 2022

Posted In: News and Blogs, Thought pieces

Become a Non-Executive Director with Dosh

Dosh logo

Dosh is a specialist company within the Thera Group and provides financial advocacy to people with a learning disability. We were set up to help people with a learning disability to have more control over their own money.

We are looking for people with the skills and dedication to help run the organisation as a Non-Executive Director on our board. You will help us to continue our charitable work and to develop our organisation for the future.

You will bring the following:

  • Believes in our vision and wants to help make sure the vision is lived every day.
  • Will have a shared passion to help the company evolve and succeed.
  • Will be supportive yet challenge our thinking.
  • Can commit to a minimum of 6 days a year plus be able to have the time for communications/ advice in between board meetings. (expenses paid)

Interested? Please contact [email protected] with your CV and we will be in touch.

December 13th, 2021

Posted In: News and Blogs