Students gain a greater understanding of finance

June 4th 2013

In March 2013, Cestria Housing Association in Chester-Le-Street was awarded funding by North East Procurement – Future Sparks.

The funding was secured to promote financial and enterprise awareness to young people in County Durham.

Financial Inclusion Manager Suzanne Jobson at Cestria, found an opportunity to get Five Lamps’ MyBnk project involved, allowing schools and community centres working with young people aged 11-25 access to the MyBnk services free of charge.

The first Academy to sign up to the Project was The Hermitage Academy & Sixth Form. Janice Riley, head of Sixth Form at The Hermitage Academy, recognised that some of her sixth formers had not applied to University and she wanted to make sure that everybody knew their options when it came to student finance. Janice agreed that Five Lamps’ MyBnk project would deliver 3 Uni Dosh Programmes to 75 students in the run up to UCAS applications deadlines and applying to the Student Loans Company for tuition fees and living costs.

75 student’s aged 17- 18 all received 2 hours of workshop activity looking at student income and borrowing, student expenditure and managing money as a student. Uni Dosh offers a comprehensive overview of university money matters and structures. Participants are encouraged to consider their personal circumstances, give their own views and critically analyse the various financial situations that students face. The workshop is designed to get young people planning ahead and evaluating the choices they will have to make at university.

Here is how the student’s knowledge, confidence and understanding improved over the session:

  • 92% of students reported a good or better understanding of what grants, bursaries and scholarships are
  • 92% of students reported a good or better understanding of the positives and negatives of different types of borrowing
  • 93% of students reported their intention to budget their money more regularly
  • 58% of students reported their intention to change their spending habits
  • 96% of students reported a good or better understanding of the cost of the things they will be spending their money on when they are at university
  • 97% of students reported their confidence in making money decisions.

This project is supported by Cestria Housing Association and Future Sparks, as well as learning about money the young people have the opportunity to participate in enterprise activities where they can make some real money whilst getting real experience of what it’s like to run a business. Cestria Housing Association will also be providing extra support in the means of site visits, master classes from the professionals and they will also be 2 openings for an apprentice position within the Housing Association.

MyBnk workshops are delivered across the North east by Five Lamps; we offer accredited Enterprise Education as well as Financial Education.