Why are the young people on the right celebrating? Because their money skills have just been recognised.
The team of Paige Sparrow, Ryan Gardener, Alex Mayhew and Shannon Mears from ACT in Bridgend in Wales ran a project on practical ways to cut spending, particularly on food, for themselves and other 16-18 year olds at their training centre. Using their slogan, Don’t Buy Posh, Save your Dosh, they set up a value cafe (a three-course meal cost £1.66 per person), cooked a meal for a local community group Mental Health Matters, ran blind tastings, and actively spread the word about shopping and preparing meals on a tight budget.
Their efforts were recognised in April this year when they won the grand final of Money for Life Challenge, a project run by Toynbee Hall in London and other partners around the UK. It is supported by a high-street banking group. As well as developing, practising and sharing life-long money skills, the team also found levels of confidence, teamwork and leadership skills they never knew they had.
This year’s Money for Life challenge is now accepting entries from young people in some form of further education, training or adult or community education. The deal is that a team of learners aged 16 to 24 can apply for a £500 grant to devise novel ways to teach others how to manage money. The young people will have £200 to spend on their money management projects. Their organisation takes the rest as a no-strings grant. Since organisations can have up to ten teams, that suggests a grant of up to £3,000 is theoretically on offer.