Just before Covid hit, Benefact Trust awarded Just Finance Foundation £250,000 towards the expansion of its LifeSavers programme – an innovative, educational scheme teaching children and young people important skills around navigating the financial challenges of life.
During the pandemic, despite the sudden closure of schools followed by months of uncertainty around school openings and Covid safety precautions, LifeSavers and the team that run it have not only weathered the storm, but creatively thrived.
LifeSavers Coordinator for the Midlands and Northwest, Paul Street, said: “It has been so exciting talking to so many new schools since the summer 2021. All the teachers I have spoken to have been really enthusiastic and can’t wait to get started. They are amazed at the quality and comprehensive nature of our resources and the one-to-one support we provide. Seeing teachers fired up to teach real and impactful life skills about money has been such a privilege.”
Choosing to temporarily expand their focus from working solely with primary schools into developing new materials, they were able to provide immediate support to individuals and communities with the creation of the Covid Cash Course. This incredibly popular online workshop trained local church and community leaders to support people in their communities struggling with the financial impact of the pandemic. This, in addition to an online hub dedicated to supporting young adults in responsibly navigating their Child Trust Funds, provided a truly meaningful way to support local communities during a time of lockdown, isolation, and fear.
In addition, the first six months of 2021 saw the team introduce Milo’s Money, a dinosaur-themed children’s storybook and game on the theme of financial education that was piloted in 60 schools and introduced over 7,000 children to coins and how to use them.
Now offered as a bolt-on to the LifeSavers programme, Milo has proved exceptionally popular with Early Years and Key Stage 1 teachers from the pilot, and they have spread the financial literacy bug throughout the upper years of their primary schools.