Leeds pupils given £10 each to help them start saving

LOOK after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves, the old saying goes.

Wednesday, 23rd March 2016, 4:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2016, 4:37 pm
Children at Hillcrest Academy, Chapeltown help launch the savings scheme. Children Ishaa Ali and Mohamed Bahir, pictured with Shaida Pavwen and Leasey Newton. Picture by Simon Hulme.

Now a new initiative to get young people in Leeds saving from an early age is underway.

Leeds City Council has pledged to help young children start learning how to save as part of a drive to tackle poverty in the city.

Children at primaries which start school savings club with Leeds City Credit Union will be given £10 each when they start year three, at seven-years-old.

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The one-off payment is to encourage them to become familiar with saving and managing money from an early age.

Pupils from Hillcrest Academy in the city have helped launch the new website for Leeds City Credit Union’s school savings club.

Coun Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities said: “We have been working in partnership with the Leeds City Credit Union for a number of years now to promote sensible lending options and money management to help people get out of poverty.

“So we are very excited to be able to offer this start-up money to help children across the city to learn how to save and manage their money in the future.

“We also hope many parents will see this as an opportunity to find out about what the credit union can offer them as a sensible and easy option to manage their own money.”

The council has initially allocated £80,000 for the project from a special social inclusion fund which was set up as part of the licensing requirements of a large casino which is being developed in Leeds city centre.

Coun Jane Dowson, deputy executive member for children and families said: “Tackling child poverty is one of our biggest challenges, so this partnership with the credit union is a great way to help children understand about money and saving from a very early age.

“We want to encourage as many schools as possible to take up this opportunity and set up a savings club.”

The Leeds City Credit Union’s chief executive Chris Smyth said: “We have run school savings clubs across Leeds for many years as they are a really important way of helping our young members learn about the importance of savings. Therefore, we are absolutely delighted with today’s announcement by Leeds City Council that it will contribute £10 to each of the children in year three saving via one of our clubs. It also marks the launch of the credit union’s new web-based school savings portal.”