Scottish children to learn money-saving habits with £200,000 credit union funding

The Scottish government has given credit unions nearly £200,000 to set up saving schemes in schools to teach children to manage money. Ten credit unions will share the cash...

The Scottish government has given credit unions nearly £200,000 to set up saving schemes in schools to teach children to manage money.

Ten credit unions will share the cash from Junior Savers Schemes to develop existing and new activities with schools in their areas.

Additional funding will produce a Junior Savers toolkit, with booklets and online resources to help credit unions and schools set up their schemes.

The funding was announced by communities secretary Angela Constance MSP on a visit to the West Lothian Credit Union.

She said: “Credit unions provide safer and more secure opportunities for people to borrow money and are an alternative to payday lenders, so it’s only right that we should highlight their benefits to people from a young age.

“This funding will help credit unions set up schemes which will bring maths to life and give children an understanding of the importance of saving and managing money.

“This early work can help to change behaviour, and ultimately play a role in our efforts to reduce inequalities.”

Each of the ten credit unions were awarded £20,000, except Solway Credit Union, which received £12,000.

Development officer Donald Thomson said: “We are delighted to have secured funding from the Scottish government to expand our involvement with schools.

“The monies will be used to cover administrative capacity and promotional and marketing materials. We are already talking to three schools, and this is exactly the kick-start we needed to be able set up new school savings schemes for each of them.”

Yoker Credit Union is able to offer part-time work and literacy and numeracy training to pupils with the message ‘Save it, don’t waste it’.

The scheme is a response to the recent Scotland’s Credit Unions: Investing in our Future report which highlighted the need to improve financial education for young people and recommended partnering with schools to promote schemes run by credit unions.

Other credit unions to receive money are East Renfrewshire; Blackburn, Seafield and District; Sovereign; Stirling; West Lothian; Falkirk District; North East; and BCD.

There are around 100 credit unions in Scotland, with a combined membership of 387,000, including 57,000 junior members. Around 7% of the Scottish population is enrolled in a credit union, compared with only 1.5% in England and 2.6% in Wales.

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