Five Welsh teams reach the Money for Life Challenge final
Juggling demands on your money is challenging for everyone but five teams of young learners have shown they have what it takes.
The teams have been selected from 40 entries to contest the Wales national final of the Money for Life Challenge at Cardiff City Stadium on April 4, where they will present their money management projects to a panel of high profile judges. There were 110 entries across the UK.
The winner will go through to the UK Grand Final in London on May 23, where the team will have a chance to win £2,500 for a charity of their choice, £100 of Bonus Bonds for each member and a Lloyds Banking Group mentor for a year.
The five Welsh finalists are: Debtly Matters from St David’s Catholic College, Cardiff, Budget Brainstormers from Carmarthen Youth Project, Don’t Buy Posh – Save Your Dosh and Drive Well Spend Less from ACT Training in Bridgend and Cardiff respectively and Every Penny Counts from Port Talbot A4e Centre.
The teams came up with innovative ideas including money saving websites, advice on how to save on fuel and car costs, using drama and a workshop to spread money management skills to young people and buying own-brand foods to cut shopping bills.
The competition aims to find the most successful and innovative ways to improve the money management skills of learners, their friends, families and communities. The teams applied for small grants to run various money management activities.
Team members are between 16 and 24 years old and in further education, work based learning or adult community learning.
Money for Life Challenge is part of the Money for Life programme, a unique partnership between Lloyds Banking Group and further education sector partners in the four nations of the UK.
Sarah Porretta, Head of the Money for Life Programme at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “This year’s Money for Life Challenge has been a great success with a huge number of teams submitting a variety of exciting projects. I have been so impressed with the originality, creativity and enthusiasm I’ve seen from teams across the UK and it has been a tough decision for the judges to decide on the finalists from each of the four nations.
“The Challenge focuses on equipping a new generation with the skills they need to best manage their money, helping them to realise their everyday needs and lifetime goals and allowing them to develop these skills and put them into practice.
“We look forward to welcoming the teams to each of the National Final events, working towards our UK Grand Final to be held on May 23.”
Debtly Matters comprises performing arts students at St David’s Catholic College, who came up with the innovative idea of using drama to improve the money management skills of the lower sixth form.
In the current economic climate, many students are seriously considering whether they can afford to go to university. The team – Otis Lloyd, Rhiannon Nogan, Joe Todd, Garin Wilcock and Kate Chadwick – showed that it’s still possible if they manage their money carefully.
Their thought-provoking 20-minute drama highlights the consequences of different attitudes to money management and the effect of peer pressure on how students spend their money.
Budget Brainstormers – Tomos Davies, Martin Dagnall, Thomas Dack, Jack Milsom and Gwion Davies – is a team of young people from Carmarthen Youth Project who are either not in employment, education or training, or at risk of falling into this category.
They have improved their chances of getting a job by developing a Money Management Guide and workshop, which focuses on spending priorities. Priority game cards helped them to realise what they were spending too much on and why they were skint at the end of every week.
Carmarthen Youth Project staff and trustees were so impressed by the group’s presentation that they are now keen to share the good money management awareness workshop with other youth centres and schools.
The Don’t Buy Posh – Save Your Dosh team from ACT Training Bridgend was inspired by the rising cost of food that leaves many people with little money at the end of the week to spend on other household essentials. The team provides an insight into buying own-brand foods that needn’t cost the earth.
The team – Paige Sparrow, Maria Williams, Ryan Gardner, Alex Mayhew, Shannon Mears and Natasha Badham – targeted other young people at their training centre aged between 16-18 years who were often spending large amounts on their weekly shop without realising the savings they could make.
A local community group Mental Health Matters was also targeted and taste sessions were hosted to demonstrate how own brands were just as good as other well known food brands. They also set up their own ‘Value Café’ within the common room at ACT Training with a menu using value foods.
The rising cost of running a car inspired the Drive Well Spend Less team of learners from ACT Training in Cardiff to show how motorists could save money on fuel and other vehicle costs by taking a few simple steps.
They have set up a website –www.drivewellspendless.co.uk – to offer practical advice and tips and designed leaflets to distribute to target users, including learners and apprentices.
The website demonstrates how motorists can drive their cars more economically and provides advice on the best fuel to use. The team – Ali Moshin, Karim Abdo, Scott Griffiths, Greg Bolton, David Morgan and Ashley Durham – now wants to develop the website by providing a comparison element for costs of parts and services locally in the Cardiff area.
The Every Penny Counts team from Port Talbot A4e Centre – Sophie Jones, Emily Jeffreys, Stacey Stead, Charlotte Piles, Joedan Rees, Jordan Ricketts and Rebecca Andrew – has established a money management advice website for young people.
The website – www.everypennycounts.me.uk – was prompted by a discussion between a group of 17 and 18-year-olds from the Port Talbot area about the pros and cons of store debit cards. It is full of useful advice to help young people avoid debt and includes an online calculator, which looks at the true cost of store cards and smoking.
There are also tips on how to save money on the weekly shop, information on the different types of bank account and a glossary explaining complex and sometimes confusing financial language.