Bridgend schoolchildren named super savers of the year
Schoolchildren in Bridgend are celebrating their success after winning a prestigious award from the Credit Unions of Wales.
Pupils of Oldcastle Primary School visited The Pierhead in Cardiff Bay to receive the top prize from BBC broadcaster Jennifer Jones.
They were nominated for the School Partnership Award by Bridgend Lifesavers Credit Union after running a successful junior savings scheme for pupils.
This not only helped children learn about the importance of saving and financial matters, but also improved other skills such as numeracy and team working.
Nicola Field, General Manager of Bridgend Lifesavers Credit Union said: “Even though the partnership between us and Oldcastle Primary School is relatively new, it has already had an incredible impact.
“After a pledge from the school, that meant every new saver receives £2 in their credit union account, the first week saw 76 pupils saving over £340 of their pocket money.
“Since then, the membership has increased to 236 members with a total of £11,900 of savings with the credit union at the end of the school year.”
Headteacher Jeremy Malessa-Thompson explained: “Oldcastle Primary School is delighted to win the Credit Union School Partnership Award. The School believes that every child should have the opportunity to start saving and we have worked hard to get as many children as possible to sign up to the school savings club.
“The savings club is run weekly with the help of our Year 4 children who develop numeracy, team working and communication skills. Children from nursery through to year 6 visit the savings club and we love to hear what they are saving for.
“We are extremely grateful for the support from the Credit Union and thrilled that our successful scheme has been recognised with the award. “
Oldcastle Primary School was one of eight award winners at The Pierhead which also welcomed Jane Hutt AM, Patron of the Credit Unions of Wales who is spearheading a campaign for Welsh people to take a stand against high cost credit providers
It comes following an announcement that people in Wales are more susceptible to over-indebtedness than any other country in the UK, with 440,000 at risk of being unable to keep up with credit repayments.
According to the study by the Money Advice Service, more than one in six people in Wales are at risk of being unable to keep up with credit repayments.
Michael Sheen, actor and founder of the End High Cost Credit Alliance said: “As a Patron of Credit Unions of Wales it’s an honour to support the awards in raising the profile of the great achievements made this year.
“Fair and responsible finance that can respond to the real needs of people in communities across Wales and the rest of the UK is core to my mission with the End High Cost Credit Alliance, of which I’m proud to say Credit Unions of Wales is an important member.
“For the movement to win the battle against high cost credit, we need effective providers and that includes credit unions. So today is a great opportunity to showcase what works and to raise the profile so that more people join their local credit union. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.”
The Credit Unions of Wales Awards were sponsored by ABCUL, Change Account, Engage and supported by the Welsh Government. The School Partnership Award was also sponsored by Legal & General.