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ABOUT US

NASMA is the National Association of Student Money Advisers

 

NASMA is a professional membership association for those across the UK working within the student money advice sector.

NASMA helps our members to provide the best support to students by promoting the development and sharing of sector best practice and free exchange of ideas, developing members’ skills through professional development events and conferences, and representing the views of our members by working closely with national decision makers and their influencers. We welcome members from a range of roles in further and higher education.

Further Education Staff

Staff in Further Education Colleges whose remit includes money advice and/or discretionary fund administration.

Student Money Advisors

Student Money Advisers in Universities, Colleges of Higher Education, Students’ Unions, Guilds and Associations.

Higher Education Administrators

Discretionary Fund and Bursary Administrators in Higher Education Institutions.

Our Values

Our members are dedicated to supporting students in the best way possible. Our values are intrinsic to everything our members do;

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Professionalism

We uphold the good standing of our profession by being responsible and accountable in our actions.

Knowledgeable and Informative

We value the collective knowledge and expertise of our members and create opportunities to develop member’s skills through professional development events, discussions and networking.

Excellence and Innovation

We are proactive in achieving service excellence. We create and deliver innovative and engaging opportunities to ensure our members can provide a high quality, student focused service across the UK.

Honesty, Integrity & Respect

We are committed to behaving in an open, honest and trustworthy manner ensuring we are ethical in our actions and strive for equity and fairness in our decision making and in our treatment of others.

Collaboration and Teamwork

We work together by sharing best practice in order to support and empower our members, staff and ultimately the experiences of students.

Collaboration and Teamwork

We work together by sharing best practice in order to support and empower our members, staff and ultimately students. We encourage teamwork across the sector to ensure students access the most up to date Information Advice and Guidance and adapt to the ever changing funding and money advice issues.

Our Board

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the management and administration of NASMA.  It ensures that NASMA’s income is used for the purposes agreed in the governing documents and is responslbe for resources (including staff) within the organisation.  The Board of Trustees must act in the best interests of the organisation at all times and ensure that NASMA stays within the law.

The NASMA Board meets at least six times a year to discuss all areas of NASMA business.

NASMA Chair

Kellie McAlonan

I have been working in Student Services at the University of the West of Scotland since 2008. Initially joining the team as a Student Support Adviser, I moved on to become the Student Funding Team Leader and have been in this role for over 10 years. Since taking on this role the team has developed significantly to become a proactive service for students, with the development of financial capability skills being a core strategy in our service delivery.

I have been on the NASMA Board since 2017 in the role of Scotland Policy Rep and have thoroughly enjoyed this experience. During this time I represented NASMA on the Scottish Government Project Board that has delivered the new Student Information Scotland resource, designed to be an initial and comprehensive resource for all types of students embarking on study, and includes a financial capability focus.

Through this role I have also worked closely with SAAS, developing a working relationship that features NASMA as a partner in operational and strategic discussions, and representing the views of Scottish members.

I look forward to continuing to be part of the NASMA Board, this time in the position of Chair, and look forward to working with the Board, NASMA Office, Committees and wider membership to support our members.

Vice-Chair Finance

Jude Cringle

I am an experienced Student Welfare Adviser and have been at Middlesex University since 2001. Before that I spent three and a half years as a Student Adviser at Newham College FE. In my current role I provide specialist and confidential advice on a range of topics including student financial support, money management, social security benefits, tax credits, childcare, housing, basic immigration law and general welfare. The advice is delivered through one-to-one casework, student workshops and targeted events. My wealth of experience in the sector has allowed me to develop my knowledge based skills as well as practical skills and I hope to bring these to the Board.
Vice-Chair Governance & Operations

Louise Miles

I’ve been working in HE advising students for 17 years starting as a Student Finance Assistant, Bursary Officer and in my current role as a Money & Support Adviser since 2008.

I’m proactive and love to network to build on partnerships that support students on their journey, I’ve been involved with several initiatives over the years, these have allowed me to develop and implement University wide campaigns.

I became a steering group member of a pilot scheme introducing gambling related support to Wales for the first time, I’m pleased to say that this is now firmly imbedded into Citizens Advice, we continue to see (ARA-Recovery 4 All) developing partnerships with HEI’s in Wales to support students in an accessible way.

I look forward to developing the NASMA strategy and contribute to the training and development of advisers to ensure that we are armed with the tools to deal with more complex financial wellbeing issues that are intrinsically linked to complex mental health needs.

Vice-Chair Training & Development

Shahida Ahmed

I’ve enjoyed building twenty five years experience working within the Money Advice Team at Edge Hill University. Alongside this role, I’ve worked as a Resident Hall Manager, Disciplinary & Support Officer and Accommodation Debt Recovery Officer. I’ve used all platforms to gain rich insight into student issues, behaviour and communication.

In the early days, as a solo adviser, NASMA was very much a lifeline. As time has progressed, it’s been great to feel it’s an organisation I could contribute to, being involved in the Money Doctors project, my previous role as North-West Regional Chair, delivering at the 2022 NASMA conference and now as a member of the board.
I’m passionate about community, collaboration and communication and am currently working alongside SLC and the NHSBSA to improve resources for students and staff and improve communication to students.
Training and development sit within my core values and are something I engage with, from a place of curiosity, on a personal and work level. I look forward to working with the board and members to continue to offer a current, varied and engaging training and development programme.

Financial Capability Champion

Louise Reid

I have been working in Student Services at the University of the West of Scotland since 2015. I absolutely love my role. My day to day can be so varied: dealing with students on a one-to-one basis; problem solving; coming up with content for social media or web support; processing fund applications; planning and running events. There is never a dull moment.

Prior to working in a university, I worked for a long time supporting unemployed people to build confidence, develop their skills and secure work. This experience has served me well when supporting our very diverse student population. I provide support to students on issues such as housing, budgeting, benefits and debt. I also support them with student finance queries and making sure their funding stays on track.

On the other side of the role, there are lots of fun and creative outlets. I have really enjoyed developing financial capability materials. I find that researching and creating tools and guides helps balance out the challenges of supporting students with more complex issues. I also love meeting students and participating in fun events.

I am an accredited NASMA member and active participant in the Scotland region.

Campaigns Coordinator

Abigail Keay

I currently work as Financial Support Manager at Keele University, where I have worked since 2015. Before moving into Student Services, I previously worked in Higher Education outreach with local schools and colleges.

Within my current role, I manage a team of specialist Financial Support Officers and the university’s financial support package. As with any role within Student Services, a typical day in life of our team can vary from one day to the next. We provide advice and guidance to students on a wide range of money-related concerns, working closely with other specialist internal teams and external organisations. We also manage our various university support funds, and run a portfolio of pro-active campaigns and projects across the academic year. I’m creative and always like to think outside of the box. Since I began my current role, our team and its services have developed, and we continually look for ways to improve students’ experience of university.

I’m passionate about reducing barriers to participation and success in education, and this has motivated me throughout my career. I hope to be able to ‘give back’ to NASMA through my role on the board, and welcome any opportunities to work collaboratively to improve the student experience.

England Policy

Emma-Jane Quirke

Hi, I’m Emma Quirke. I’ve been a member of NASMA for about 17 years. I have been regional chair for the North East Region for about 8 years. NASMA has been invaluable to me as a support network and I am delighted to be part of the Board again. I work at Leeds Trinity as Money Advice Manager, providing general welfare advice to students but mainly focusing on Money Advice. I also manage the university hardship funds. One of the main parts of my role is helping applicants and students with their student finance applications, eligibility queries and delayed funding problems so I hope I am well placed to continue as the point of liaison for NASMA with the SLC on student finance matters.
Northern Ireland Policy

Debbie Forsey

I have been a student money/debt adviser with Advice SU, the SU advice team at Queen’s University, since 2007. Before joining Queen’s, I was a money/debt adviser with Citizens Advice and also worked in welfare benefits as an assessor. My work involves providing student finance and debt advice to enrolled and prospective students of the University, and promoting financial capability. I enjoy widening participation work and provide student money sessions to prospective students participating in the various widening participation programmes at Queen’s. I work in partnership with a wide network of organisations, representing the needs of HE students in NI, such as the Money and Pension Service (formerly Money Advice Service), Advice NI, and the Consumer Council. I am currently collaborating with the Department for Communities in NI to address the problems and issues experienced by students claiming Universal Credit. I have special interest benefits work, and hope this is an area of expertise which will be a valuable contribution to the NASMA. I would also like to use my position on the NASMA Board to make representations to the Department of Health to seek a review of the current funding arrangements for degrees in nursing and midwifery in NI.
Scotland Policy

Pamela Lockhart

My name is Pamela Lockhart and I am the Student Funding Adviser at the University of Dundee. I joined Student Services 14 years ago. Prior to moving into the Student Funding Unit in July 2019, I was the Receptionist in Disability Services.

In my current role, I offer one to one support, advice, and guidance to current and prospective students. I do this on a range of funding issues including funding entitlement, withdrawals and ‘Plus One’ queries. I make recommendations to the Panel for Financial Aid and can influence awards made by it. I liaise with SAAS on a regular basis to gather information or to follow up queries from students and staff. During my time here at the University, I have built up a strong support network to whom I can refer students should they require specialist support.

Someone once told me that ‘NASMA membership is what you make of it’ - which is certainly true. Being part of the NASMA community is a great place for connecting with other like-minded professionals in order to share knowledge and to network. Since becoming the Scottish Policy Representative in November last year I have embraced the new challenge which has taken me out of my comfort zone. Through NASMA I have been involved in the Student Hardship Taskforce run by the Scottish Government and was interviewed live on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Money Box’ – something I never imagined I would ever do. [Interesting fact: I have recently started to learn to play the piano but luckily for my husband and 7-year-old daughter there is a volume button on the keyboard!].

Wales Policy

Einir England

I have been a NASMA member since 2003. NASMA membership has been invaluable to me throughout my career. I have worked at 2 different students’ unions and 2 universities in Wales. I started my career at Bangor University Students’ Union and then moved on to work in Student Services as the Student Money Adviser that included managing the Hardship Fund. 6 years later I moved to Cardiff and started my career there in the Students’ Union again before moving to Student Support 12 years ago as a Student Support Adviser. In this time, I also studied an Masters in Equality and Diversity, part time.

My day-to-day work varies from providing one to one support to students on student finance related issues, to plan and co-ordinate our team’s student communication activities. I have a solid understanding of student finance in Wales and the intricacies of the differences across the UK. I have a special interest in equality, diversity and inclusion and have been leading the work within my division for supporting vulnerable groups such as care leavers and estranged students.

I am passionate about being pro-active to improve the student experience and see my role on the NAMSA board as an opportunity to do this.

Partners

We’re pleased to be working with lots of like minded organisations.

If you are an external organisation wishing to get involved, we’d love to hear from you. Please email office@nasma.org.uk

JS Group

JS Group are a trusted partner for universities with a long history of delivering and managing student bursaries, hardship and other financial support that drives better investment in student engagement and futures, reduces workload and overall costs.

More info

Save the Student

Save the Student is the UK’s leading student money website attracting over 2 million visitors a month and boasting a strong online community of 18-24 year olds. Their mission is to educate and support undergraduate students in making their money go further whilst at university, and they are participating in National Student Money Week.

More info

Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)

SAAS have shared some resources relevant to students from Scotland, including promotional materials for Student Information Scotland, and graphics to highlight key themes

More info

Stop Loan Sharks

The England IMLT work as Stop Loan Sharks within local communities, within education, and with partner agencies including the police. Since 2004, the England IMLT have supported over 30,000 people and written off over £87 million worth of illegal debt.

More info

Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM)

YGAM are an award-winning charity working to prevent children and young people from experiencing gaming and gambling harms through awareness raising, education and research.

More info

Experian

Experian operates one of the UK’s leading credit reference agencies, helping guide lenders and consumers on key decisions linked to lending and borrowing. We are committed to helping improve consumer financial health and work with a wide range of organisations to support financial inclusion and wellbeing.

More info