Quote: "As someone with autism and anxiety disorders, this project was a test of how far I have come in the last few years. I have proved to myself that I do have the skills to go forward in life to become employable."
Coventry youths step up to the Challenge and set their sights on national award success - Local Youngsters' Money Skills Celebrated by the Lloyds TSB Money for Life Challenge.
A team of 18 to 19 year olds from Coventry is in the running for a prestigious national award after impressing judges in the first round of the Lloyds TSB Money for Life Challenge, a competition designed to inspire better money management skills.
The team of students from Hereward College, a residential and day student college catering for those with disabilities, is now gearing up to go to the English final at the Tower of London on 18 April 2013 where they will showcase their Money for Life Challenge project called Savvy Savers. Since becoming one of 250 projects in the UK to receive a £500 grant in December, the young people have put their project into action as money saving experts by re-launching a credit union collection point within the college to help students save money and learn about the benefits of doing so. The group realized that a lot of college attendees were not in control of their own finances and did not save money in any form, so as well as the credit collection point they set up money management workshops for those with more complex learning disabilities and their carers. The workshops helped students and carers understand the benefits of saving money and the team created a range of resources designed to make saving money a lot easier.
Martin Berisford, 19, from Savvy Savers says: "As someone with autism and anxiety disorders, this project was a test of how far I have come in the last few years. I have proved to myself that I do have the skills to go forward in life to become 'employable'. The most important part for me was seeing people around the college and community enjoying our workshops."
Savvy Savers will be joining a shortlist of five England teams whose inspiring money management projects are having a positive impact on their local communities and friends.
The team's sponsor, Ingrid Terry a Business Facilitator at Hereward College says: "This has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to develop new and exciting skills in communication and team work. Leadership, drive and motivation by the Project Leader has been highly commendable. As the main aim and progression of our students is 'employment', the skills demonstrated within this project demonstrate employability."
On the day of the English final of the Money for Life Challenge, the lucky teams will present their projects to a panel of judges and the winning team will then go on to the UK Grand Final in London on 23 May. If Savvy Savers is crowned national winner they will also receive £1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice and £50 shopping vouchers for each team member.
Sarah Porretta, Head of the Money for Life Program at Lloyds Banking Group, said: "The Money for Life Challenge is a great way of empowering young people to manage their money well through supporting others with the exact same skills. Now in its second year, the calibre of the projects never ceases to impress and what's most striking is the creativity and passion shown by the young people in bringing their original idea to life to make a real difference in their communities.
"We look forward to hearing all about Savvy Savers project at the England final and wish them all the best of luck."
The winning team at the Grand Final on 23 May will win £2,500 for a charity of their choice, £100 of shopping vouchers for each member and a Lloyds Banking Group mentor. There will also be an overall People's Prize winner selected by guests at the event.
Money for Life Challenge is part of the Money for Life program, a unique partnership between Lloyds Banking Group and further education sector partners in the four nations of the UK, including The National Skills Academy for Financial Services and Toynbee Hall in England. The competition aims to find the most successful and innovative ways to improve the money management skills of learners, their friends, families and communities. Team members are between 16 and 24 years old and in further education, work based learning or adult community learning.
The additional England finalists are:
Bella's Budget Boutique, an online guide to become fashion savvy; Culture on a Shoestring, an online magazine for Lancashire communities to find free or low cost cultural activities to do in their area; and, Ignite, a guide to promoting money management to young musicians and Act on Money, who devised a theatre play to address money management issues amongst the homeless community.
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