Trading Places Challenge

Fredericks is the country’s foremost microfinance charity, offering affordable loans and support to individuals and small businesses denied finance by mainstream banks.

Most of our clients are on some benefits, and many are unemployed. We think fundraising should be fun and relevant, and that is how we came up with the Trading Places Challenge.

It’s simple – we challenge people to live on Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) for one week, starting 20 January. In the morning withdraw £67.50 from an ATM and that must last you for a week. It must cover your discretionary spending (pretty much everything except commuting cost, mortgage or rent, or utilities). It has to cover private mileage, food, drink, entertainment, sport and any other leisure activities.

The fun part – you will be joining many others, and sharing the pain and the fun with them. You will most likely be spending less than usual in a week, so the cost of joining the Challenge will be minimal, and you will end up more healthy – simpler food, little alcohol, and more cycling and walking!

The serious message: how difficult is it to live on JSA and how impossible is it to save enough money on it to start your own business?

So, sign up at, save money, get healthier and your funds will help us create more businesses in 2012, taking even more people off JSA. If you work in a company, challenge your senior management to do the same!


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Keren Suchecki
Keren Suchecki
12 years ago

Nice idea, but I think JSA would have to cover your utilities too, so maybe that should be factored in for the week.

Charles Dodwell
Charles Dodwell
12 years ago

Actually I agree, Karen. they were left out because we wanted to keep it simple, and knew that Jan was the most expensive month – but next year we probably will include them. Thanks

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