Entering the world of work and dealing with money can be a daunting prospect. Budgeting, saving, renting, mortgages, pension plans, student loans – the subject of finance can be a scary one. Often, it’s an unknown subject for many young people leaving the education system and taking their first steps towards independence.
Since 2012 we have been sponsoring WizeUp – a charity which aims to prepare pupils approaching school leaving age for life outside education, by teaching them essential skills needed for managing personal finances.
The sessions, led by financial education expert and former City banker, Ed Flack, take place mostly in schools, sixth form centres and colleges and cover everything from budgeting and credit ratings to taxation and flat sharing.
Due to necessity, in recent months, Ed’s sessions have been adapted so they can also be delivered to pupils remotely and he has expanded the content available on WizeUp’s website to include podcasts, quizzes and new materials to help parents support their children at home.
Ed’s invaluable knowledge has been passed on to hundreds of local young people since we first became involved. And our association has not stopped there – we have introduced WizeUp to other building societies like us and Ed is actively delivering more sessions to students across England and Wales as a result.
As the sessions continue, so too do the positive comments from both the schools and students…
John Redmond, Vice Principal at Sir Frank Whittle Studio School in Lutterworth, said:
“Ed was superb at making all the topics covered engaging and students sent us emails afterwards saying things like ‘the speech was really useful, I learnt how much companies rely on credit ratings and how much going to university can affect you financially’ and ‘I found this really useful and have learned many new things’.
“I am very grateful to Hinckley & Rugby Building Society for this support as school budgets are tight and Ed’s work was of the highest standard.”
WizeUp’s visits to Dorothy Goodman School, an all-age SEN school in Hinckely, go the extra mile with a practical visit to our Castle Street branch, with many of the pupils using an ATM for the first time on the way and having the chance to practise opening an account with the help of our staff.
Joanne Linwood, Senior Life Skills teacher at Dorothy Goodman School, said:
“The students had a truly fabulous day. They all learnt that you have to earn money before you can take it out and, for most of them, this was the first time they had ever used a cash card at an ATM or learnt how to open a building society account.”
In addition to WizeUp, the Society’s staff have also shared their own expertise and time with local colleges, schools and young care experienced people in the county by hosting various sessions covering basic budgeting, the value of savings, how to avoid fraud and also by providing careers talks to accountancy students.
These sessions have been well received by pupils from South Wigston College, Lawrence Sheriff School in Rugby, Nuneaton Academy and a group of young people (identified by charity Leicestershire Cares) who have recently left the care system to live independently for the first time.
At the Society we speak to people every day about their financial situation so we can provide them with suitable savings and mortgage products. We have a clear understanding of the value and importance of financial education, which is why we have made it a key area of community support for us. We are constantly striving to enhance our offering to local educational institutions to help deliver these important life skills and have plans in the coming months to expand our contribution, with our staff utilising new educational tools developed by the Building Society Association to deliver additional engaging and relevant materials to our local young people.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?
If you run or work in a local educational setting and think we may be able to offer you support with financial education please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
Please select ‘Community Support’ from the drop down box.