YHN teaches young people about importance of saving correctly
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Your Homes Newcastle is splashing the cash...but it's all in a good cause. It wants young people to think about the importance of saving.
YHN’s financial inclusion team has linked up with two local schools to teach them money matters as well as encouraging them to start their own savings accounts with the help of a loan shark - a friendly one - named Sharkey.
When first set up, the children were given a £5 donation from YHN and the promise that their savings would be topped up if they continued to make contributions for eight weeks. The scheme was launched at Atkinson Road Primary Academy in Benwell last year (see photo) and this year at Thomas Walling Primary Academy in Blakelaw.
The savings scheme has proved a success with almost 200 children opening accounts, which pay into Moneywise credit union, a member-owned financial co-operative, at a branch run by volunteers of Riverside Community Health Project.
At Atkinson Road Primary, 120 pupils have signed up to the scheme and around 19 parents have also got involved and set up their own accounts.
At Thomas Walling Primary, which only launched the scheme in January, there are six adults and 61 children involved who, collectively, save around £200 a week.
YHN's Donna Gallagher said: "The aim of this scheme is to educate children on the importance of saving money while they are young so it shapes their attitudes in later life.
"We try to do this in a number of different ways such as encouraging them to get into the habit of saving now so they’re less likely to end up borrowing in years to come. We also teach them about the dangers of borrowing from sources other than reputable credit unions, namely illegal and legal loan sharks."
YHN plans to start the scheme in at least another three schools in the next academic year.