In my last blog (read it here) I wrote about the joy of Lifesavers in our local Church of England Academy. Here, I share how the LifeSavers programme is helping to inspire families in our wider community, through a programme called Pennies to Pounds.
Through LifeSavers, parents are invited into school to explore how they can help their children to better understand money and finance. In many cases, the parents’ experience of their own school days was not a happy one and many left with few or no qualifications. But they are drawn in because each one of them wants the very best for their children. They want their children to have a brighter future and they engage with Lifesavers because it is fun and inspiring, for both parents and children.
At first, only one or two mums nervously ventured into the Pennies to Pounds sessions, tempted by the bacon sandwiches and the warmth of the welcome, but over a period of four weeks those mothers became competent to train other mothers, and some of them even went on to take up other training opportunities, such as parenting courses. Those parents are now experts in managing money and making a little go a very long way. Sharing that experience has been enhancing for everyone, even the teachers. At the end of one of the Pennies to Pounds courses, one of the mum’s said,
‘I save here. I know a few other parents have started to save here, as well. You don’t have to have a lot of money to save, that’s not the idea. It’s to come and to give a little bit each week. The little amount adds up to a lot. What will I do on Wednesday mornings when this comes to an end?”.
Well, the answer is, learn some more. It doesn’t need to end.
Liz Chadwick is the Just Finance Development worker for Together Newcastle