Money savvy Bridgend Youths Crowned UK Champions

Posted on by karen.smith

Team from ACT takes home the top prize at the Money for Life Challenge UK Grand Final

Don't Buy Posh Save Your Dosh with journalist and presenter Ellie Crisell

Young people from Bridgend are celebrating this morning after winning at last night’s prestigious Lloyds TSB Money for Life Grand Final in London. After a close battle against hopefuls from across the UK, the team finally brought home the top prize to Wales after winning over an influential judging panel with ‘Don’t Buy Posh, Save Your Dosh’, an innovative project designed to help them and their peers improve their money management skills.

The team of six 16 to 19 year olds from ACT (Associated Community Training) set up ‘Don’t Buy Posh, Save Your Dosh’ after securing a £500 grant from the Money for Life Challenge earlier this year. They used the money to transform their common room into a ‘Value Cafe’ where people could learn about how to save cash on their weekly shop simply by swapping from branded to value products.

The learners people proved to their peers that they could save as much as £30 a week on a typical grocery shop just by choosing non-branded items, and they even held tasting sessions to put their point to the test. Before taking on the Money for Life Challenge, the ACT team members all lacked confidence so the judges were impressed not just by their money management skills, but also the journey they had come on as a team.

Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “I would like to congratulate the winners and all those who took part in this challenge, and I hope they will provide inspiration to others. In the current economic climate, learning financial and money skills are as important as they have ever been. I am very encouraged to see the progress that the Money for Life programme has made in developing these skills amongst young people.”

Last night’s judging panel was made up of Matt Young, Corporate Affairs Director for Lloyds Banking Group; Emma Thomas, Chief Executive of Youth Net; Hiran Adhia, Creative Director and Co-founder of We Do Ideas; Wendy Alcock from Money Saving Expert; and Irfan Zaman from National Union of Students.

Shannon Mears, 16, from ‘Don’t Buy Posh, Save Your Dosh’ says: “Having started the Money for Life Challenge with no confidence, I have found it a life changing experience and now everyone says how confident and bubbly I am. I’m amazed to find that I have learnt so many new skills and my mum is pleased that I have shown her how to save on our weekly shopping bill!”

Ellie Crisell, journalist and presenter hosting the Grand Final, says: “As someone who’s learnt the value of tightly controlling my household budget, I think it’s good to celebrate young people who are not only learning about money management, but how to apply those skills in imaginative ways.
Recognising the value of money and how to use it effectively is something all young people can benefit from and a useful tool they will take through life.”

The young people have already won £1,000 to donate to charity of their choice following their success at their national final, and with their win today they have received a further £2,500 for charity. Each member of the team were awarded with £100 of Bonus Bonds plus the chance to work with a Lloyds Banking Group mentor who will help them continue putting their inspiring money saving ideas into action

Sarah Porretta, Head of the Money for Life Programme at Lloyds Banking Group, says: “Good money management has always been important, but it’s never been very inspiring – until now! I’ve been blown away by the creativity of all the Money for Life Challenge entries and our Grand Final winners ‘Don’t Buy Posh, Save Your Dosh’ from Bridgend have truly come on an amazing journey.”

“The Money for Life Programme is all about embedding money skills in communities across the UK, especially by equipping young people with the financial know-how they need to fulfil their potential. ‘Don’t Buy Posh, Save Your Dosh’ and all of the teams who entered this national competition have played a huge role in helping us reach this goal and look forward seeing to more inspiring entries next year.”

The ‘Don’t Buy Posh, Save Your Dosh’ team beat off stiff competition from teams ‘Look and Cook!’ from Belfast, Northern Ireland; ‘Money Talks’ from Renfrewshire, Scotland; and ‘Buffet on a Budget’ from London, England.

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