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Durham College's Building Bridges Together Project Co-Creates Three Social Innovations

Updated: Apr 29

Supported by Durham College’s Social Impact Hub, the Building Bridges Together project team, including the research steering committee, people with lived experience of poverty and community service providers, co-created three social innovations that breakdown access barriers to financial literacy and services for people experiencing low income.

Financial Help Hub (FHH) innovation is rooted in the research data that pointed to a lack of inclusive access to already existing financial help information. The FHH is a free, walk-up, touch screen kiosk that provides information on financial aid supports in the Durham Region including information on food, shelter and financial aid. It also provides financial literacy advice from Prosper Canada and access to the 211 helpline, connecting people to further social services, programs and community supports. It was launched in March 2024 at the McLaughlin Branch of the Oshawa Public Library and includes data analytics and a short survey for users.

The project lead is Lorraine Closs, researcher and professor in the Social Service Worker program, Faculty of Social and Community Services.

Tax Tycoon™ board game is a tax literacy game for youth. This innovation came from research data that indicated people living with low income are often not engaged in the tax filing system even though their engagement would see them realize many financial benefits. The research also pointed to a multi-generational pattern of disengagement and misconception about the tax system. The Tax Tycoon™ board game is a proactive approach to demystifying the tax system and reducing tax fear by engaging youth in a fun and interactive board game. The game was piloted in April 2024 by two youth groups and data about its effectiveness is being collected.

Tax Tycoon™ video game. The tax literacy board game was converted into a fun and interactive video game where youth can learn about taxes, solve tax obstacles and understand how life events affect your tax return.

This project is supported by the College and Community Social Innovation Fund – Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

To connect with us, please visit our website: Durham College Social Impact Hub

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