Lisburn youths triumph in UK-wide money skills competition

South Eastern Regional College team take top prize at Halifax’s Money for Life Challenge UK Grand Final

 

A group of young people from Lisburn are celebrating today after being crowned champions at Halifax’s Money for Life Challenge UK Grand Final in London last night. The team claimed the prestigious national title after beating off stiff competition from teams across the UK with Bouncing Babies, their original and inspiring project to improve money management skills among their friends, family, peers and wider community.

Bouncing Babies impressed a panel of high-profile judges – including Graham Lindsay, Group Director for Responsible Business at Lloyds Banking Group and Caroline Rookes, Chief Executive of the Money Advice Service – with its innovative approach to money management, by  setting up a money management support group for young mothers, creating information leaflets facilitating 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 team of four money savvy 19 to 21 year olds from South Eastern Regional College was awarded a £500 grant from Halifax’s Money for Life Challenge in December 2012 to deliver their project over the winter, before going on to beat 250 other participating teams with their award-winning community project. Bouncing Babies already scooped the title of Northern Ireland champions in April so last night were competing against the best teams from England, Scotland and Wales.  

The young people presented their project to an audience of 150 at last night’s ceremony, which was hosted by personal finance expert Sarah Willingham and held at the London Film Museum on the Southbank, Central London. The judges noted that they were particularly impressed by Bouncing Babies.

 

Tammy Corbett, 19, from Bouncing Babies says: “Taking part in the Money for Life Challenge was already a life changing experience for me so now that we’ve won, I’m absolutely speechless! None of us ever thought we’d be so interested and inspired by money skills, but now we’ve got started we’re hooked. We’ve already passed on what we’ve learned to lots of people in our community and hope to keep up the good work.”

Sarah Willingham, personal finance expert and Grand Final host says: “Bouncing Babies are such deserving winners of the Money for Life Challenge – I cannot congratulate them enough! I’m passionate about improving people’s money skills, so presenting last night’s Grand Final was an incredibly rewarding and inspiring experience, especially hearing the challenges that so many of the young people overcome to make a positive difference in their communities. I wish all of the Challenge teams the best of luck in the future and feel confident knowing that their newfound money management skills will stay with them for life.”

Sarah Porretta, Head of the Money for Life programme at Lloyds Banking Group, says: “Last night’s Money for Life Challenge Grand Final was the culmination of months of hard work by young people up and down the country, and a fitting celebration of all they’ve achieved. Bouncing Babies are worthy winners- they combined business acumen with a heartfelt commitment to nurture the confidence of young Mums in Northern Ireland to get back into education and secure their family's future.”

The young people have already won £1,000 to donate to charity of their choice following their success at their [nation] final, and with their win yesterday they have received a further £2,500 for charity.  Each member of the team will also take away with £100 of Bonus Bonds plus the chance to work with a Lloyds Banking Group mentor for a year.

Last night’s judging panel was chaired by Graham Lindsay, Group Director for Responsible Business at Lloyds Banking Group, and made up of Caroline Rookes, Chief Executive of the Money Advice Service, Emma Thomas, Chief Executive of YouthNet, Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of the Personal Finance Education Group, or pfeg, Clare Francis, Editor-in-Chief of Moneysupermarket.com and 2012 Money for Life Challenge winner Paige Sparrow from Bridgend in Wales.

The other finalists in last night’s Grand Final were Act on Money from Whitechapel, London; JWCMoney1 from North Ayrshire, Scotland; and Grow and Save from Cardiff, Wales. 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.

 

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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