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External affairs team

Find out who's talking about us and what they're saying

StepChange in the news

StepChange in the news

In this section you'll find highlights from recent media coverage of our campaign work as well as appearances on radio and television by our policy advocates and clients.

Our latest media coverage

Please note, we're not responsible for the content of external websites.

Friday 24 June 2022

In the media, Debt Advice Policy Manager Jonathan Chesterman has been back helping readers with debt problems and money worries this week as part of the Sun’s Squeeze team. He shares his personal tips for saving money, and responds to readers queries about debt.

We collaborated with Barclays on some new research around Buy Now, Pay Later which found that almost a third of shoppers who use BNPL say repayments on the loans have become “unmanageable”. The findings received widespread coverage including in the Guardian, iNews, Mail Online, Independent, Your Money and in over 30 more national and regional titles. Yesterday Director of External Affairs Richard Lane was interviewed about the research on LBC, catch up from 1:54:00.

On social media our tweets of week with high engagement rates explore our responses to the further rise of inflation and our stance on buy now, pay later. A discussion on the Reddit platform encouraged multiple comments and praise for StepChange. Please note: this thread discusses long term illness and gambling addiction. We highlighted our client Jack’s story over on Youtube, where we have over 750 subscribers.

News

StepChange was mentioned as a source of advice in the following online articles:


Friday 17 June 2022

In the media, we reacted to the news that the Bank of England had raised the interest rate to 1.25%. Director of External Affairs Richard Lane’s comments were picked up by the Mirror, Yahoo News and Credit Strategy (£).

Head of Media Sue Anderson was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours about BNPL, and people using credit to make repayments. Sue’s interview was preceded by a clip from StepChange client Chloe discussing her experience of BNPL and debt. Listen again from 45:30.

On social media, uur second largest site for the month is Reddit, we were mentioned multiple times in a thread sharing experiences of money worries and debt. You can have a scroll through. Tweet of the week goes to the wonderful Lawrie and David in our Scotland team, as they attended the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. Their cheery selfie sparked lovely comments from our friends in CAP Scotland and can viewed on Twitter and LinkedIn.

News

StepChange was mentioned as a source of advice in the following online articles:


Friday 10 June 2022

In the media, last Friday the FT published a long read examining whether Buy Now, Pay Later can survive the cost of living crisis. The article featured insights from StepChange case study Chloe, comment from Head of Media Sue Anderson and stats from our recent polling. 

Chloe also took to the airwaves this week for a string of radio appearances to discuss BNPL, including an interview with Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2, listen from 37 minutes

Sue Anderson was interviewed on BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire discussing the same topic, listen again from 36:55.

Debt Advice Policy Officer Andy Shaw was a guest on Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4. He was part of an expert panel giving advice around the cost of living crisis. Watch the episode.

Sue Anderson was quoted in a BBC article about intimidating debt collection letters sent to drivers accused of not paying the Tyne Tunnel fees.  

Our top articles on social media were comments from our client Chloe regarding buy now, pay later. See the tweet of the Financial Times and the discussion on BBC Radio 2 with Jeremy Vine.

News

StepChange was mentioned as a source of advice in the following online articles:

Opinion


Friday 27 May 2022

In the media, we reacted to the Chancellor’s announcement of a cost of living support package. Director of external affairs Richard Lane’s comments were covered by Yahoo News, BBC News (Live) and in a widely syndicated article appearing in Mail Online, Independent, Evening Standard and in 123 other regional titles.

Richard Lane was interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds about the predicted rise in the energy price cap in October and the impact this would have on households. Listen again from 1:11:00.

Prior to the Chancellor’s statement, head of media Sue Anderson was quoted in the Money Edit, discussing what StepChange would like to see in the cost of living support package.

Richard Lane appeared on BBC Rip Off Britain during a report about bailiffs and the reform we would like to see in that area. Watch again from 8 minutes.

Social media

We highlighted the announcement of the energy price cap over on BBC and on our Facebook page

News

StepChange was mentioned as a source of advice in the following online articles:


Friday 20 May 2022

Following Wednesday’s announcement by the ONS that inflation hit 9% in April, we issued a reaction which received widespread media coverage including articles in BBC News, the Sun, Express, Independent, Mail Online and Evening Standard. We also took part in a string of TV and radio interviews in response to the news, this included director of external affairs Richard Lane on ITV News Calendar (7:40), GB News (19:00), and Times Radio (00:17:15). Head of media Sue Anderson was part of a panel discussion on Channel 5 News about the cost of living crisis.

StepChange client Sarah Douglas candidly shared her story with Yahoo News about her experience with debt and mental health.

Last weekend, debt advice policy officer Andy Shaw was featured in the Sun, giving advice about financial assistance schemes that are available to help households who are struggling with their bills.

On social, we shared the news that our clients have nominated us for a Consumer Credit Award for the third year in a row. The website has had 600 users visiting from social media so far this week, and visits from Reddit have been especially high, with a spike on Wednesday that was higher than we achieved with the Reddit AMA during Debt Awareness Week. This was driven by a UK Personal Finance thread discussing credit card debt, and we continue to be recommended by Redditors as a source of help.

A tweet about StepChange client Sarah Douglas’ piece in Yahoo News received the highest engagement on Twitter this week.

StepChange in the News

StepChange was mentioned as a source of advice in the following online articles:


Friday 13 May 2022

BBC News article last weekend warning that the cost of living crisis will lead people to be unable to make debt repayments, featured data from StepChange, alongside a quote from head of media Sue Anderson and an update on client Andy Barwell’s story.

We received several pieces of coverage this week relating to the rise in people using Buy Now, Pay Later services to pay for essentials. This included an article in the Financial Times (£), about BNPL company Zilch offering customers the option to pay for energy bills using their service, in which director of external affairs Richard Lane was quoted. A similar piece looking at Zilch was featured in The Times (£) and City A.M. with a quote from Sue Anderson.  

We launched our latest Scotland in the Red report, which looks at our client statistics from 2021 and what life is like for Scots experiencing problem debt. Yesterday, public affairs officer Lawrie Morgan Klein was interviewed on Good Morning Scotland on BBC Radio Scotland to discuss the findings of the report. A clip from Lawrie’s interview was also played across the regional BBC radio stations in Scotland.

On social, our tweet reacting to the Renters Reform Bill being included in the Queen’s Speech received the highest engagement rate of the week. We’ve been highlighting client and staff stories for Mental Health Awareness Week, which has sparked comments of how StepChange has supported people. You can view Alice’s story here and Richard’s audiogram on Instagram. We’re still seeing the ‘cost of living’ as a trending topic for the month across socials, including rising energy bills and food banks being used online when discussing money and debt.

News

StepChange was mentioned as a source of advice on BBC Asian Network, in five local print articles and in the following online articles:

Opinion


Friday 6 May 2022

We released our monthly client data report for March, which was covered by iNews, and used for a widely syndicated article in the Independent and in over 140 regional titles. Richard Lane’s quote was also featured in a piece in the Express about the rise in mortgage borrowing.

Just before the bank holiday weekend, head of media Sue Anderson was interviewed for a piece in Yahoo News about the rising cost of living and the unprecedented impact it could have on households in the coming months.

Elsewhere, debt advice policy officer Andy Shaw was on BBC Radio 5 Live during a segment discussing insolvency. This was following StepChange client Mike, who spoke about how much StepChange helped him and changed his life during an incredibly stressful time.

On social media, we celebrated 1 year of Breathing Space by circulating the video of Alex Horne from Taskmaster.

News

StepChange was mentioned as a source of advice in the following online articles:


Friday 29 April 2022

In the media, director of external affairs Richard Lane was interviewed on BBC Morning Live this week, in a segment investigating predatory companies who use Google ads to advertise misleading and unregulated high cost loans with no credit checks. Catch up from 10 minutes in.

A joint letter we were signatories to from Which? Money, calling on the government to protect access to cash, received coverage in the Independent, BBC News, Mail Online and in over 135 other regional titles.

Debt advice policy officer Andy Shaw took part in a Facebook Live with the Mirror about unclaimed benefits and where to check to find out if you’re entitled to support.

News

News in Scotland

StepChange was mentioned as a source of advice in the following online articles:


Friday 22 April 2022

In the media, director of external affairs Richard Lane was interviewed on Channel 4 News this week in a segment about what energy companies and the government can do to help people with soaring energy costs. Catch up from 42 minutes in.

StepChange debt advisors Darren, Grant, Marielle and Greg, also known as the Quizsteppers, were on Eggheads on Channel 5 on Monday.

Phil Andrew was quoted in a widely syndicated article about impersonation fraud, this was featured in several national titles including the Independent, Mail Online, the Scotsman and in over 190 local outlets.

News

Thursday 14 April 2022

In the media, director of external affairs Richard Lane was on Times Radio yesterday discussing the impact of the cost of living increase and advising where to go to get support.

Last weekend senior public policy advocate Ed McDonagh spoke to the Observer about the aggressive tactics of bailiffs for an article that included stories from StepChange clients about their experiences with bailiffs.

Richard Lane was quoted in This is Money in a piece about the rising use of Buy Now, Pay Later services among young adults with a third of people unaware that BNPL is a form of borrowing.

StepChange was mentioned as a source of advice in the following online articles:

News


Friday 8 April 2022

In the media, our coverage was focused firmly on the sharp rise in the cost of living as both the energy price cap and National Insurance increased this week.

Across the week, director of external affairs Richard Lane did a string of interviews about this including on ITV News, Times Radio, BBC Breakfast (from 39:50) and BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours, the latter of which StepChange client David also gave his heartfelt testimony about his financial struggles, praising StepChange for helping him during a difficult time in his life. (Listen from 43:45)

Phil Andrew wrote an opinion piece for the Yorkshire Post which appeared online and in print discussing the impact the rise in energy bills will have on StepChange clients and people from financially vulnerable households.

This week also saw the launch of our 2021 Statistics Yearbook, which provides insight into the debt and demographic situations of our clients between January and December 2021. This was picked up by the Big Issue, who focused on the number of people who were already in arrears on essentials bills prior to the cost of living increase. Our data was also covered during a discussion on LBC, as well as in Your Money, Credit Connect, and CCR Magazine.

Elsewhere Senior public policy advocate, Ed McDonagh, spoke to the Observer last weekend for a piece that examined the growing IVA market and accompanying concerns around the debt solution being mis-sold.

Social media

  • We celebrated World Autism Day and shared our lovely colleague Lucy’s story. This reached over 4,249 people across our channels and was our top ‘Media Tweet’ for the week on Twitter. You can view the post here on Facebook.
  • Phil Andrew’s op-ed in the Yorkshire Post surpassed our 2% engagement rate goal on Twitter – reaching 6%.
  • We launched our annual Stats Yearbook across our LinkedIn and Twitter platform. You can find the thread post here. In total, we’ve had 500 users from social media go to our site this week from our content.

News

Opinion


Friday, 1 April

In the media, following the release of our latest client data report for February and the Bank of England’s latest Money and Credit data, Peter Tutton was quoted in over 200 media outlets including the FT, Daily Telegraph print edition, the Independent and host of other national and regional titles.

Elsewhere, our research on the cost of living published during Debt Awareness Week was featured in the Mirror alongside a quote from Phil Andrew and a guide to help people manage their finances.

Peter Tutton was again quoted in the Mirror, this time responding to Gordon Brown’s call on the government to restore the £20-a-week Universal Credit boost. He argued that whatever the mechanism, it’s vital the Chancellor pledges further support for the most financially vulnerable in the face of the cost of living crisis.

A quote from Senior Public Policy Advocate, Ed McDonagh, was included in a widely syndicated article in over 100 various outlets revealing the large numbers of people who remain on legacy benefits ahead of the Government’s target to complete the Universal Credit rollout by 2024.

On social channels, we republished some of our Debt Awareness Week content around the Real Life Stories page, one of our highest engagement rates of 5% on the Twitter platform for the week. You can view this here.

We reminded our LinkedIn audience of our 4-year strategy in a recent post, which gathered a 4.3% engagement rate. The strategy document has now been viewed over 150 times since promoting on socials. We’ve had nearly 200 referrals from our Reddit page for the month. You can view our AMA here.

In the news:

StepChange was mentioned as a source of advice in the following online articles:

In print StepChange was mentioned as a source of advice in several local titles including the Lancashire Telegraph and Wetherby News. Across broadcast media we were mentioned on LBC and BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Shropshire, Coventry & Warwickshire and Three Counties.


Friday, 25 March

In the media, a combination of the launch of our annual Debt Awareness Week, new research from StepChange revealing that one in five people expects to fall into problem debt this year, and our reaction to a Spring Statement that fell well short of helping the most financially vulnerable households, led to us achieving more than 250 pieces of coverage this week.

Across TV and radio, StepChange research or spokesperson comment was featured 160 separate times, including high profile interviews for Phil Andrew on Good Morning Britain, LBC News and Radio 5 Live, and regular appearances across BBC and commercial radio stations by Sue Anderson, Peter Tutton and Sharon Bell.

In print and online media, we gained more than 100 pieces of coverage, with highlights including Phil Andrew’s widely shared op-ed for The Guardian, coverage for our new research in The Sun, BBC News Online and The Mirror and our reaction to the Spring Statement covered by the FT (£), Guardian, The Sun twice and the ITV News website..

Since last Saturday, there have been more than 60 pieces of local and national coverage mentioning Debt Awareness Week, including articles in the Express and the Yorkshire Evening Post.

This week we also published our new organisational strategy, supported by a press release and a blog, as well as posts on our various social media channels. It was reported in Credit Strategy and Credit Connect.

Our news coverage included:

StepChange was mentioned as a source of advice in:

Friday, 18 March

In the media, Public Policy Manager Adam Butler's comments on the dangers of high-cost credit were carried in The Observer in a piece revealing that Google is profiting from ads offering high-interest loans to people with poor credit ratings.

Debt Advice Policy Officer Andy Shaw was interviewed by the Sun for an article detailing what help is available for people behind on their energy bills.

Director of External Affairs Richard Lane was among 50 signatories of a letter that was delivered to ministers yesterday urging them to uprate benefits to keep them in line with inflation.

We celebrated Women's History Month across our platforms, sharing Courtney, our Workplace Risk and Resilience Co-Ordinator's personal journey, which received wonderful comments and engagement. You can view this here on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The State of Financial Wellbeing Report by Wagestream was published this week, in which StepChange contributed to. This received praise particularly on our LinkedIn.

Yesterday we were one of 50 signatories to Child Poverty Action Group's call to increase benefits by at least 7% in April to match inflation. You can see this here on Twitter.

Other coverage included:


Friday, 11 March

Barclays released research on the effect of Buy Now Pay Later on Generation Z, including commentary from StepChange director of external affairs Richard Lane, which was widely covered including in the Express, the Sun, the Mirror and YourMoney.

The March issue of Credit Strategy magazine (print edition – available online to £ subscribers) includes an opinion column by CEO Phil Andrew based on our recent research on credit being used as a safety net and how lenders need to spot the warning signs of people turning to credit when it may exacerbate their problems.

On the cost of living crisis, Richard Lane was interviewed on Times Radio and Sue Anderson was interviewed on BBC Radio Cornwall. Cashback sites accused of rewarding gambling in the Mail included our comments.

For International Women’s Day Gail Arkle’s personal story received over 130 positive and celebratory reactions from clients, colleagues and partners.

We have seen our largest engagement since April 2021 on our blog over the past week, with Peter Tutton’s in-depth review of Breathing Space reaching over 550 views, and Peter Wordsworth’s blog on IVA’s reaching nearly 300. And among a number of wonderful shoutouts from former clients, this one on Twitter stood out, sparking many shares.

Director of External Affairs Richard Lane was interviewed on the cost of living crisis on the drivetime programme just before 5pm yesterday on Times Radio.

A feature article in the print edition of the Herald and online featured extensive insight from StepChange Scotland and quoted Sharon Bell, head of StepChange Scotland.

Peer pleads for Government action over 'scandalous' costs of prepayment meters for poorest (Yorkshire Post)

StepChange was mentioned as a source of advice in:

Other coverage included:


Friday, 4 March

This week saw the publication of our annual Client Outcomes Report, looking at the experience of clients who sought advice before the pandemic compared to those who sought it during the pandemic.

Our monthly client data report for January also landed earlier in the week, with our accompanying press release commenting on the findings as well as the Bank of England’s latest Money and Credit data.

The Guardian’s economics editor, Philip Inman, featured Richard Lane’s comments in an article reacting to the BoE’s data, showing borrowing on credit cards and short-term loans had slowed in January. As part of his role on The Sun’s ‘Squeeze Team’, Debt Advice Policy Manager, Jonathan Chesterman’s comments were also given a prominent airing in a feature advising people on what to do if they’re in debt.

Elsewhere, our work on bailiff reform took a step forward with the announcement that Catherine Brown will be the new chair for the Enforcement Conduct Board. News of the appointment was covered in trade titles CCR and Credit Connect.

Some essential reading can be found on our Medium blog in the form of Peter Tutton’s, Breathing Space – how’s it really going?.

Our news coverage included:

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