Bouncing Babies take top prize at Money for Life Challenge Final

 

Lisburn youngsters’ money management skills recognised at Northern Ireland final of prestigious competition

 

A team of young people from South Eastern Regional College (SERC), Lisburn is celebrating success today after being crowned winners at the Northern Ireland final of Halifax’s Money for Life Challenge, a national competition designed to inspire better money management skills in communities across the UK.

 

The team of students aged between 19 and 21 fought off competition from all over Northern Ireland at yesterday’s ceremony at Stormont in Belfast with their inspirational project, called Bouncing Babies, where they set up a money management support group for young mothers. The team created information leaflets and support sessions for young mums and have facilitated sessions to advise on everything from student finance, managing finances and childcare costs, to living well for less, healthy recipes on a budget, job opportunities and benefits.

 

The Bouncing Babies project convinced judges of the young people’s winning ability to not only improve their own money management skills, but to use these to have a positive impact on their local community.

 

Meanwhile, a team from SERC, County Down is also celebrating after being awarded the People’s Prize, as voted by guests at the ceremony. Their Less Dash/More Cash project set out to help new drivers save money on their fuel costs and guide them on money management. The team explained how fellow students who are new to driving can reduce fuel costs by making minor checks and adjustments to their vehicle, such as checking tyre pressure and wheel alignment, switching off air-con and modifying driving style. The students shared these tips through leaflets and the college website – and even distributed a free air-freshener to all drivers in the college showcasing the tips.

 

Bouncing Babies has now won £1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice and £50 shopping vouchers for each team member. Plus the young people will now progress to the Money for Life Challenge UK Grand Final in Central London on 23 May, where they’ll compete against teams from England, Scotland and Wales to claim the title of overall Money for Life Challenge winners.

 

Two representatives from Less Dash/More Cash will also enjoy an all expenses paid trip to London for the UK Grand Final where they will compete for the UK People’s Prize, again voted for by the audience.

 

Emma Woodward, 20, from Bouncing Babies says:

“The Money for Life Challenge has been a fantastic experience and the team have learnt so much since taking part. We are delighted to win the Northern Ireland Final and are really looking forward to London.  This experience has given us the opportunity to meet a wide range of wonderful people and we have all benefited as a result. One mum has started on the road to university! I’ve also gained confidence in the ability to manage time and money and to socialise with new people.”

 

 

The team’s sponsor Karyn Eldon, a Assistant Head of school at SERC says:

“I’m really proud of the team and the effort they have put in to make this project such a success. This was an inspirational project that really helped guide young mums through money management. The support sessions not only helped give young mums the confidence to manage their money but were also a place where they could meet other mums and develop lasting friendships.

 

“Involvement in this project has given the team a great boost and they’ve loved every minute of it. Winning the Northern Ireland final is a great achievement and they deserve to be celebrated, and of course I'm hoping they can go all the way to the win the Money for Life UK Grand Final too!”

 

Sarah Porretta, Head of the Money for Life Programme at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “We’re delighted to announce Bouncing Babies as the winners of the Money for Life Challenge Northern Ireland final. Our judges were incredibly impressed not just by the team’s effort and enthusiasm, but the fact they made such a fantastic contribution to improving the money management skills of their community. Less Dash/More Cash also did a brilliant job of convincing the audience they have what it takes to make a difference.

 

“The Money for Life Challenge is now in its second year and it’s inspiring to see so many young people being empowered to learn new ways to manage their money well and support others by passing on these skills.

 

“We look forward to welcoming Bouncing Babies and Less Dash/More Cash to the Grand Final on 23 May and wish them all the best of luck.”

 

The winning team at the Grand Final on 23 May will win £2,500 for a charity of their choice, £100 of shopping vouchers for each team member and a Lloyds Banking Group mentor. There will also be an overall People’s Prize winner selected by guests at the event.

 

The panel of judges included Janine Maher, Money Advice Service Policy manager for Northern Ireland; Sandara Kelso-Robb, Executive Director, Lloyds TSB Foundation for Northern Ireland; Fiona Kidd, Executive Committee NUS-USI; Joanne Patterson, Business Development Officer, Open College Network Northern Ireland; and Szymon Pliszka, Money for Life Challenge 2012 Grand Finalist from Reid Kerr College, Scotland. The panel selected Bouncing Babies from a shortlist of five teams from across Northern Ireland.

 

Money for Life Challenge is part of the Money for Life programme, a unique partnership between Lloyds Banking Group and further education sector partners in the four nations of the UK. The competition aims to find the most successful and innovative ways to improve the money management skills of learners, their friends, families and communities. Team members are between 16 and 24 years old and in further education, work based learning or adult community learning.

 

For more information on the Money for Life Challenge, please go to moneyforlifechallenge.org.uk, or join us on Facebook at facebook.com/moneyforlifeuk and on Twitter at twitter.com/moneyforlifeuk

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