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Our Impact Report for 2020

How we're reducing the harm of problem debt

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Our work in 2020: How we’re delivering against our strategic objectives

At the end of 2019, we had no way of knowing quite what an extraordinary year 2020 would prove to be – for our clients, for our colleagues, for our partners and funders. All have been, and continue to be, amazing. Together, we have proved that we really are maturing into the organisation we want to be – flexible, efficient, resilient and solution-focused.

Of course, 2020 was far from plain sailing. Perhaps the biggest challenge has been the difficulty in accurately forecasting demand for debt advice, and the likely mix of solutions appropriate to clients in these very different conditions.

The client paradox of 2020 was that we – along with other debt advice providers – saw fewer clients actually going through full debt advice than in previous years, despite the worsening economic environment. We are now seeing that the full scale of the UK population’s financial problems has yet to crystallise due in large part to the unprecedented level of government support made available during the pandemic.

Phil Andrew, chief executive"As 2020 gave way to 2021, the future remained uncertain in terms of the pandemic. However, thanks to the huge efforts and support of our colleagues and contacts, we know that StepChange will be there to help those who need it throughout the Covid aftermath and beyond.

We look to a future in which we can help more people to become debt free. Thank you to all who support us."

Phil Andrew, Chief Executive

1. Providing free debt advice and solutions

In 2020 we expanded our role in providing the widest range of practical debt solutions of any provider in the UK by launching the Covid Payment Plan (CVPP).

Impact report - free advice and solutions infographic

2. Being the most efficient and sustainable provider

We launched the CVPP, and worked quickly to ensure that our colleagues were set up to work remotely during the pandemic.

Impact report - sustainable provider infographic

phil andrew, chief executive"While the Executive team grappled with the operational requirements of ensuring continuity of services across the brand new “work from home” necessity, they were simultaneously looking to the future, both near- and long-term.

I have been impressed with how the entire team has managed to retain a strategic focus despite the prevailing pressure."

John Griffith-Jones, Chair

3. Campaigning for change

In 2020, understanding and responding to the financial impact of coronavirus on UK households was our first priority. We were also able to move key policy areas like Breathing Space, Government Debt Management and Universal Credit forward.

Impact report - campaigning for change image

4. Prevention alongside cure

To ensure we were a trusted first port of call for our clients and members of the general public worried about debt and money during the pandemic, we launched a comprehensive 'debt and coronavirus' hub on our website, updated to give near real-time advice and information.

Impact report - prevention and cure image

5. Creating greater awareness of free debt advice

We launched a new marketing campaign in response to the pandemic, made good progress with our business-to-business (B2B) marketing strategy, secured a significant amount of coverage in the media and tackled online impersonators.

Impact report - awareness of free debt advice

6. Nurturing our colleagues

In 2020 we began implementing our Total Reward strategy and we reshaped our training programme to build in online learning. We continued to deliver our graduate programme, expanded our wellbeing strategy and began building our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

Impact report - nurturing our colleagues

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Annual Report and Accounts 2020

To understand our impact in 2020, as well as our financials, read our full Annual Report and Accounts.

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