Youngsters from the Black Country are fast-tracking their way to a better understanding of money management, thanks to a local building society.
Representatives from the West Brom supported a development programme run by the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust for 16 to 25 year olds who are ‘NEET’ (not in education, employment or training).
Get on Track uses sport to motivate participants and strengthen their self-discipline and confidence. The overall aim is to enhance employability and improve key life skills, including team working, time management and budgeting.
The West Brom was asked to prepare and deliver a money management workshop for the group with a particular emphasis on spending wisely, the potential pitfalls of borrowing money and how to get a good return on your savings.
There were also practical exercises on drawing up a personal budget plan and the various types of ID that can be used to open a bank or building society account.
The Society’s PR manager Nick Trueman said: “This is the second Get on Track programme we have supported and the response from the students has been really encouraging.
“In designing the workshop we have tried to make it relevant to the target audience by discussing real-world money issues and the various financial challenges they may face in years to come.
“Above all we want to get across the fact that staying in control of your spending is essential and drawing up a detailed and honest budget plan is the only way to be sure your income can support your chosen lifestyle.”
Chan Nandhray, manager of the West Brom’s Handsworth branch, who also presented to the Get on Track students, added: “As a building society it is very much part of the West Brom’s ethos to make positive contributions to the local community. Get on Track is perfect for applying our particular area of expertise in a way that will help others develop useful skills of their own.
“There is a definite need to share knowledge and best practice with younger generations when it comes to personal finance. Such insight will hopefully help them plan effectively for the future and avoid hitting any unwanted financial problems.”
Chan has been promoting financial education and development in his local community for the past three years. He presents regularly to children at Hamstead Hall School near to the Handsworth branch and Holyhead School where he used to be a pupil.
At Holyhead, Chan also teamed up with the branch’s independent financial adviser to deliver a workshop for the teaching staff based on investing for the future.
Get on Track is a national initiative which is delivered locally in partnership with the YMCA Black Country Group and Black Country Consortium. It is led by the YMCA’s Changing UR Health for Life team, which offers disadvantaged young people opportunities to improve their wellbeing and access employment.
Luke Tyler, project manager with the YMCA, said: “It’s a huge privilege to see the progression of the young people and how they grow in both confidence and professionalism throughout the duration of the programme.
“We received a lot of positive feedback from those who attended the West Brom’s presentations and it really helped to set the scene for further tasks related to Get on Track and also their day to day living.”