The Money for Life Awards is back, and this time bigger and better! For the third and final year, Money for Life and partner Lloyds Banking Group will come together on the 21st March to celebrate the amazing achievements of young people tackling financial issues within their community through Community Challenges.
The Community Challenges were an amazing feature of the Money for Life programme in which young people could apply for £400 to put towards a project they designed and delivered to help tackle a money issue within their communities. Last year, our 2018 winners ‘Trash2Cash’ from Scotland ran a programme that tackled the issue of waste and consumerism among young people and families. They educated people on how waste materials can be reused to create fun alternatives to high price toys.
This year, the four winning finalists from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, will come together to pitch their project to our panel of judges in the big finale. On the day, one group will be crowned the ‘Money for Life UK Community Challenge Winner of 2019’ and will receive additional funding to take their project to the next level.
Meet our 4 National Award Finalists!
The Money Mentors Programme – Youth Action Northern Ireland
In the “Money Mentors” programme we aim to help young people living with a disability to lead a more independent life and equip them with the skills to manage their own money. Research shows that, out of the 2% of the UK population with a learning disability:
• 40% are not sure about coins, notes and their values
• 86% are confused over benefits, income and spending
• 74% rely on their carers to manage their finances
• 40% don’t have a bank account in their own name
• Over half says someone else decides how much money they can spend each week.
We have found that our group has had similar experiences. Out of 25 of us, only 3 had experience of managing money. We want to challenge this and make practical changes by helping young people with a disability to learn financial skills through peer to peer, group and 1-1 workshops. These workshops will focus on using educational games and cash registers to simulate different scenarios. It is our long-term goal to help us and others to lead more independent lives.
Caring for Christmas – Youth CYMRU, Swansea Young Carers
‘Caring for Christmas’ is a project designed to raise awareness of the life challenges young cares face daily, while embedding the financial skills learnt as part of Money for Life. The group decided they wanted to raise funds to help themselves and other young carers in their community get opportunities to have a break from their caring role and engage in fun social activities. Young carers made Christmas cards using new and recycled materials. Cards were then sold to members of our community. Young carers often take on more responsibly manging the household budget at a younger age and so the Community Challenge allowed the group to develop confidence in their own money management skills through running their own market stool. The group sold nearly 1000 cards and even invited to sell them at a local council meeting, a fantastic opportunity to meet with local political figures and share their experiences. The group raised more money than was expect and used it to take a group of young carers to see the panto ‘Cinderella’, have deserts at a local café and go to a trampoline park.
FARE Food – Youth Scotland, FARE Glasgow
The FARE Food project focuses on providing members of the community (especially those on low incomes) the skills and knowledge of how to cook from scratch. We wanted to spread awareness on the options of cheaper, healthier foods that anyone can make at home. The young people will be using what is flat pack meals i.e. all the fresh ingredients you need to cook a nutritious and cost-effective dinner or soup in a brown bag including the recipe on how to cook it. The group also provides information on the cheapest places to shop for the basic ingredients and extra recipes and tips on cooking on a budget. The group hopes to pass on skills and knowledge about cooking and shopping on a budget but at the same time making healthy and nutritious food for themselves and their families. The group feels this is an important project in passing on the information that cooking food from scratch is not only more cost effective but also healthier.
NAP/SAC Project – UK Youth, 8th Bebington Scout Group
Our project is designed to help young people who can no longer live at home and are currently Sofa surfing. We provide a backpack that contains some necessary toiletries and personal care items such as shampoo, body wash and toothpaste. We also provide information for the recipients to further help themselves. As around a quarter of young people (between 16 and 25) are currently living below the poverty line and as yet unknown number of them are homeless or sofa surfing and our mission is to help as many as we can get themselves back on their feet.
Community Challenge Marketplace
This year we also had some fantastic Runners’ Up from our Community Challenges. With projects that ranged from a crafts group selling recycled products, to a school uniform clothing bank helping pupils from low income backgrounds get free uniforms, there have been some innovative solutions. To celebrate their achievements, several of the Runner Up winners have been invited to the award ceremony and will get the chance to network and have their own market stall to raise even more funds for their community project on the night!
Denny High Clothing Bank (left) and Ohana Crafts (right)
Having supported 172 Community Challenges across the UK, we are so proud to see how far young people have come, developing money management skills with their peers along the way.
Good luck to all our Community Challenge finalists! We can’t wait to see who will be crowned winners of 2019. Thank you to all the young people who’ve shared with us the amazing work they’re doing within their communities. We would also like to thank Lloyds Banking Group who have sponsored this programme and made these incredible opportunities possible.
To keep up to date with all the action on the night, make sure you follow our twitter hashtag #MFLAwards19 and social media pages @MoneyForLifeUK.