By Jessica Lee, Project Manager at UK Youth.
On Wednesday 11th April, UK Youth brought together young people, youth workers and representatives from the financial sector. The Money for Life Awards was an incredible evening of celebration which took place at BAFTA, London.
The event, hosted by Efe Ezekiel, celebrated the amazing achievements of young people and youth workers alike. They’ve been sharing money management skills with their peers and community as part of UK Youth’s Money for Life programme, funded by Lloyds Banking group.
About Money for Life
Money for Life has so far provided over 13,000 young people with money management skills and is empowering them to take action in their communities. Young people today identify money as one of the biggest causes of stress in their lives.
Through strong partnerships with the youth sector and Lloyds Banking group, the programme is helping young people take control of their lives and feel positive about the future.
The structure of the programme is very varied – from our face to face workshops, to our website full of expert advice. Through this, we’re making sure that young people know how to make the most of their money. There were so many great success stories at our event and they all inspired me! It’s stories like this that make me especially proud to work on this programme.
Our regional finalists wowed the crowd
Another part of the programme is our Community Challenges. The challenges invite young people to take action on a money issue. With a £400 grant they design and deliver their own inspirational projects. This helps them share their new found money management skills with the wider community.
During the night, five groups of young people were invited to share their projects with a panel of judges as regional finalists. This year’s panel of judges included: Olivia Broderick, UK Youth Trustee, Charles Counsell, CEO of the Money Advice Service, Sian Williams from Toynbee Town Hall, Aanya Sara from UK Youth Voice and Petra Watkinson from Lloyds Banking Group. The panel decided on an overall winner having seen presentations from our finalists.
The projects we heard from on the evening have all made an amazing difference to their community. Representing Northern Ireland was TrYou Transcribe with their Transcribe comic book which provides support to transgender and non-binary young people experiencing financial difficulties.
SABA (Society for the Advancement of the Black Arts) from North London and represented South of England with their Money for Life radio show, discussing relevant money topics to reach more young people.
ITEC skills from Bridgend, Wales, developed partnerships with the local shops to create discount cards for young people that can be bought from their youth centre.
SewFed, representing North of England shared their experiences developing new skills and overcoming challenges to find employment in Runcorn. They worked to develop a small business that can provide young people with skills needed to gain full time employment.
And the winner is…
Travelling all the way from the Orkney Islands to represent Scotland were Trash2Cash. Their project tackled head-on the issue of waste and consumerism amongst young people and families. They showed how waste materials can be reused to create fun alternatives to high priced toys.
At the end of the night, Trash2Cash were voted as overall winner. They were ecstatic to be able to scale up their project with the £500 grant awarded to them. Young people are often cut off from opportunities such as this one. With this in mind, providing these opportunities is incredibly important to us. It was great to have Lucy and Hope with us at the event to share the amazing work they do.
SABA’s Money for Life radio show won People’s Choice Award. This was voted for by the evening’s guests who learnt about the project during the event.
The evening also celebrated and thanked the programme’s Money Champions who came from afar to share their experiences. These amazing young people told the audience of the confidence they have gained from taking a leadership role. They also shared how much of a difference Money for Life has made to their community.
We are extremely proud of all the young people who travelled far and wide to share with us the amazing work they are doing within their communities. I’m so excited to see what this year’s Community Challenge competition brings.