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Barclays Money Skills Case Study (Trafford)
Rathbone UK delivers the Barclays Money Skills ‘champions’ project at various locations around the country and Mike Leyland, support worker, provides an insight into how the project has been making an impact in Greater Manchester.
Mike has been working with a small group of young people to deliver the Barclays Money Skills ‘champions’ training. Most of the young people in the group are seventeen to eighteen years old from various backgrounds and facing different challenges. These range from young people with mental health issues, with ADHD, living semi-independently in hostel accommodation, and young people referred from youth offending teams.
The group sessions highlighted the variety in knowledge and experience regarding money management amongst individuals, which demonstrated the true value of peer education. For example, some young people were knowledgeable about ISA’s whereas others with semi-independent living arrangements were able to share more knowledge and experiences of budgeting. At the end of the sessions, the young people created their own activities to test out what they had learned during the project.
Following their training, the group visited the Prince’s Trust in Ormskirk, Lancashire to deliver a workshop to thirteen young people on money skills, covering terminology, spending habits, saving and budgeting. Mike explains how this workshop confirmed how far these young people had come, both in terms of their financial capability and personal skills, noting how one young person with a learning difficulty started the project with low self-confidence and would not talk to anyone – “here she was today, running a money skills blockbusters session in front of a group of young people.”
During the workshop, the attention and improved behaviour of the participants was noted by staff, who attributed the success to the influence of peer education. “It enables them to have conversations about money with other young people that as adults, we could never have,” explains Mike.
On a more informal level, ‘champions’ have been speaking to their peers and sharing what they have learned. For example, one of the participant’s friends was experiencing problems with a phone contract. Drawing on his experience with the project, the ‘champion’ explained how the Citizen’s Advice Bureau could help provide further advice and also discussed with his friend how to negotiate minimum payments with service providers.
Another ‘champion’ who lives in a hostel has been speaking with a group of fellow residents about how to manage their money more effectively and budget for food shopping – valuable support that would not otherwise be provided to these young people for whom budgeting is vital during their transition to independent living.
And it’s not just in traditional settings that the young people have been sharing their learning. They have recently filmed a ‘money skills rap’ video about savings and have shared this with friends on Facebook. Apart from these activities that have already taken place, the success of the initiative has been shown by the fact that these young people are eager to stay involved and are looking for further peer education opportunities.
Apart from the many young people who are benefitting from the peer education model, the young people have also appreciated the additional confidence and communication skills gained through participating in the project, skills which mean they are much better placed not only in managing their personal finances, but also in successfully facing the challenges of today's labour market.