What an achievement! Four years of financial fun!
As I bid farewell to CollegesWales and the Money for Life Challenge, here’s looking at some of the Challenge’s amazing achievements here in Wales.
This month it has been announced that four of our national finalists have been awarded £1000 legacy grants to continue their fantastic financial capability work in their communities. Lloyds Banking group awarded eleven of these grants in total this year so we are over the moon that we received over a third of the funding here in Wales.
- The Young Pension Payers, from ISA training, are going to be directly with Scottish Widows to advise them on the best way to communicate about pensions to young people.
- Dosh, from Acorn Training Solutions, are continuing to provide workshops to young people to educate them about money management, and working with stakeholders to help integrate financial education into the national curriculum.
- C-Bank, from Bridgend College, will continue to work with Tenovus in creating teenage only sections in their charity shops across Wales.
- The Young Carers from YMCA Cardiff are going to create a mobile app aimed at giving cost savings for grocery shopping and creating more content for how to make cheap, healthy meals.
Four Wales National finals have taken place during the lifetime of the challenge at three iconic venues; Cardiff City Stadium, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and The Doctor Who Experience. The presentations from the teams have been outstanding and Wales has gone on to have the most success in the UK Grand finals – winning twice in four years.
We are so proud that the initial idea for the Money for Life Challenge was generated from a phone call to Lloyds Banking group from CollegesWales! In the initial stages of the competition the focus was purely on further education but I am particularly proud of the wider reach we have achieved over the past few years. We have seen entries across Wales from:
- youth groups
- housing associations
- young carers
- military preparation colleges
- and apprentices, to name just a few.
The challenge has always looked great on paper but it isn’t until you met the groups that it really comes to life. We are pleased to have been able to showcase the projects to organisations such as the Money Advice Service, Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Welsh Government, and this example of learning about financial capability in the real world has never failed to impress!
We are also very grateful of the support that has been offered by our politicians across Wales, from all political parties. In the time I have been managing the project over 17 MPs and AMs have helped to raise the profile of the teams in their local communities, either through visiting the teams, or promoting the challenge to organisations in their constituencies. I have witnessed the interaction that a lot of the teams have had with their local MP or AM and I believe it has been great learning experience for both the participants and the politicians.
We are so grateful to Peter Hain, Suzy Davies, Jane Hutt, Jenny Randerson, Huw Lewis, Leighton Andrews, Janice Gregory and Nick Smith for visiting the teams whilst they’ve been working on their projects. We have also been particularly grateful to Bethan Jenkins AM who has acted as a judge at the UK Grand Final two years in a row and is continuing to work with DOSH on financial education for post-16 students.
They were great sports posing for lots of photos… as seen by our Storify of the Challenge
And finally, it’s good bye…
As the challenge draws to a close I want to thank you all for your inspiration. I have often told people that I have the best job in the world and I meant every word! Your communities are better places because of the wonderful work you have undertaken. I have had the pleasure to watch you grow as individuals and produce the most outstanding results. You should all be very proud of what you have achieved– I know that I am.