Born out of a passion for the community
Rooted Finance started life as a community project called Money Matters, launched in June 2001 by The Environment Trust in Tower Hamlets, London. In 2010, the Money Matters Project was rebranded as Fair Money Advice and registered as a subsidiary Charity of Fair Finance.
We established Rooted Finance in 2022, so we could serve the community in the best way possible. With a deepening cost-of-living crisis, more and more people are struggling to keep on top of their money, we knew we wanted to be there to support.
Now, acting as an independent organisation, we have more time and freedom to dedicate to big-picture equality, diversity and inclusion issues.
We destigmatise debt
We know it’s not easy to talk about money problems. Finance is personal. We may feel alone, and fear people judging us, so we might not even talk to our friends and families. Rooted Finance at its core offers a safe space to talk to someone without judgement or blame.
We care about your future
We want to give you a strong foundation to grow wherever life takes you. Think of a plant. It isn’t enough to just keep the leaves healthy, a plant will only grow and flourish with strong roots. Our advisers fix root causes and give you long-term solutions.
We are activists at heart
We’re advocates of change, unafraid to challenge convention. We call out inequality, and we’re working tirelessly to change outcomes for communities where fairness isn’t the status quo. Not just through our work, but by getting involved in local and national projects and campaigns.
Senior Management Team
Muna Yassin MBE
Muna Yassin MBE
Muna has over 20 years’ experience in community-embedded financial inclusion services. She was appointed to the VCSE Advisory Panel convened by VCSE Crown Representative, Claire Dove in March 2021. The VCSE Advisory Panel advises government on how to help more organisations from the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sectors compete effectively in public sector contracts. She was also a member of the DCMS BAME Stakeholder group Chaired by Baroness Barran, in response to the COVID-19 crisis and its disproportionate impact on BAME communities.
In June 2021, Muna was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and was awarded an MBE for charitable Financial Services to Disadvantaged People during Covid-19. In March 2022, Muna joined the board of Toynbee Hall and previously was on the board of Women Advancing Microfinance UK (WAMUK).
She has a particular interest in reducing systemic financial inequalities and increasing the economic empowerment of marginalised communities – with a focus on minority ethnic communities and women.
Director of Operations
Director of Operations
Jahanara has over 20 years of experience in the Advice Sector and has spent most of her career developing and building specialist teams that provide high-quality and client centric financial inclusion services. She has been instrumental in the design and development of Rooted Finance advice services across London and led on the organisation’s responses to the Covid 19 and Cost of Living crisis. Currently Director of Operations,
Jahanara oversees all RF’s operational activities from new technology, project teams, regulatory and quality standards and recruitment and development
Projects and Partnerships Manager
Projects and Partnerships Manager
Emma joined the organisation in 2022. She has over 10 years’ experience of working for organisations with a focus on social welfare advice, health inequalities, public health and health research within the voluntary and community sector. At Rooted Finance, Emma leads business development and new partnerships, manages a portfolio of partnership and consortia led projects and contracts, and plays a pivotal role in communications and external relations at the Charity.
Before joining Rooted Finance, Emma worked for several organisations that that supported the community and voluntary sector response during the COVID 19 pandemic, focusing on managing and coordinating partnerships in support of the public health engagement of Somali community COVID vaccination programme.
She has a keen interest in increasing access to advice for disadvantaged communities, as well as creating creative communications for charities.
Shajida has over 15 years of experience in the advice sector and re-joined the organisation in 2022. Her career started in generalist advice, and she specialised in Debt Advice in 2009. She is a qualified trainer has worked with many advice organisations to train and develop their advisors through her work with Advice UK.
At Rooted Finance, Shajida leads our Advice and Customer Support teams and supports them to deliver a high-quality client-centred service. She’s responsible for the technical supervision and coaching and development of our front-line teams. She also oversees all our outreach delivery and is responsible for embedding Rooted services in community locations.
Shajida also has experience in working for Age UK and domestic violence Charities and brings an intersectional approach to the delivery of Rooted Finance advice services.
Board of Trustees
Erik is the Chief Risk Officer of Wagestream Ltd. He has previously worked in senior roles within financial services and the voluntary sector including Citi, Barclays, and The Money Charity. He has spent time as a freelance consultant in the regulation, financial services, and financial wellbeing sectors. He previously served as a member of the Financial Conduct Authorities Financial Services Consumer Panel.
In his free time, Erik enjoys traveling, and trying out the latest additions to London’s food scene.
Erik has been on the board of Rooted Finance Since Spring 2016.
Rachel Bentley has been a trustee of the charity since 2016 and has previously served as the Acting Chair.
Rachel has over twenty years experience working in advisory services for the private, public and charitable sectors in the UK, USA, Japan, South Africa and beyond.
She also serves as a Councillor in the London Borough of Southwark. She is passionate about tackling inequality in all its forms and has regularly volunteered throughout her adult life. She also currently sits on the board of the St Saviours and St Olaves Foundation Fund which provides grants to support young peducational
She holds degrees from the University of Warwick, Nagoya University in Japan and University College London.
Warren has over 20 years experience working in the Finance industry. He is qualified as a Chartered Company Secretary and has an educational background in offshore finance, as well as European Economic and Political studies, languages and language teaching.
Through project outreach, we make sure we’re supporting the people who need it most. We’re part of many initiatives and research projects, linking up with all kinds of organisations, from utilities providers and charities to local food banks.
Debt, Welfare and Energy Project
Debt, Welfare and Energy Advice project in partnership with Money A and E funded through British Gas Energy Trust.
Advice In Community Settings Project
A Pan-London Debt and Welfare Advice service based in Community Settings, funded by the Greater London Authority.
Specialist Debt Advice
Specialist debt advice for Hackney residents and part of the Hackney Advice Partnership funded by London Borough of Hackney.
Debt Free Advice
Pan-London debt advice service, part of the Debt Free London partnership with 22 other agencies. Funded by Money and Pensions Service
Community Fintech Project
Partnership with Shelter, Stockwell Community Partnership and Comuzi Lab-review and research of Open Banking for low-Income communities.
Impact on Urban Health
Rooted Finance has been working with Elifinty since 2020 to co-design an online advice platform that allows clients, advisers, and creditors to work collaboratively to improve financial wellbeing
Financial Inclusion Project
Working in partnership with Hackney Foodbank, we support Hackney residents to develop solutions to take control of their money and debt issue through specialist advice.
Researching the financial exclusion of ethnic minority groups in the UK and builds on the recommendations set out in Runnymede Trust’s Financial Inclusion (2008) report. Rooted Finance is on the Steering Committee and part of the Practioners Group.
Money and Pensions Service
Commissioned by MaPS and carried out by Bristol University to explore the relationship between mental health and financial problems within diverse ethnic communities in the UK. FMA provided insights and will have our views published in the final report.
Racial Justice Fund
Working in partnership with Money A and E which focuses on overcoming barriers facing Black and minoritied Londoners from accessing financial products and service, while increasing representation within financial services jobs.
Grow Your Own Advice incubator programme
This groundbreaking training project is funded by Propel and coordinated by London Legal Support Trust, is aimed at addressing the gap in provision of community-based debt and welfare advice, particularly for Londoners from diverse ethnic communities.