Why we do it?
Everyone needs to be able to manage their money.
But for young people the inability to do so has serious consequences; it is easier to fall into debt, be scammed, make uninformed decisions and establish bad money habits.
2022 was dubbed as ‘the year of the squeeze’ with an average household £1,200 worse off than in 2021. Without knowledge of financial concepts, products or the economic state they are about to enter, how can today’s young people thrive as adults tomorrow?
Higher incomes, consumer protection and better products are all important for improving financial wellbeing, but it is essential young people are educated and equipped to make the right money choices for themselves. There are many sources of tips and guidance but much is irrelevant, of un-proven impact or linked to selling.
Through the delivery of impactful and evaluated financial education, MyBnk can help to break these cycles for young people as they transition into independence.
The Need for Financial Education
Young people engage with money from an ever earlier age but face a financially challenging future.
When MyBnk started in 2007, just 10% of UK adults had received any form of financial education. In 2011 we joined others and successfully campaigned for money lessons to become part of England’s national curriculum, from Year 7 to GCSE level.
Although there is wide advocacy for financial education, there remains substantial gaps in relevant, effective and evaluated provision. With timetabling pressures, the absence of extra funding and limited specialist training, evidence and experience tells us schools are struggling to deliver impactful lessons. Moreover, students in primary schools, academies, sixth forms, colleges and free and independent schools are not required to be taught money skills.
How We Do It
Budgeting, costing structures, taxes can be traditionally boring or challenging topics for young people.
MyBnk takes a holistic approach to education, using real life case studies, colourful resources, games, videos and links to popular culture to bring money to life, whilst catering for different age groups, backgrounds and abilities. Our sessions challenge negative financial attitudes and build self-belief as well as develop appropriate knowledge and skills.
Our SUPER methodology ensures young people get trustworthy, reliable and expert information.
Quality & Training
We convey appropriate learning in an exciting way, leaving young people with a positive memorable experience and a desire to learn more about money beyond the classroom.
If you do something you might as well do it right. This is true when looking at important topics such as finance, and independent living. That is why we employ full-time paid professionals with a background of working with young people.
Trainers are rigorously trained and tested in the core subject knowledge behind the programmes. Once certified, our Quality & Training Team monitor the quality of ongoing deliveries, provide additional CPD, updates for trainers and analyse data to feedback into our programme development and approach.
Out of mainstream education
Our out of school approach shifts, especially when working with young people in vulnerable circumstances, who may have low self-confidence when managing their money.
So, our programmes contain a strong element of challenging negative attitudes, building self-belief and aspirations to move forward financially.
Tailored specifically to the target group and exploring personal money experiences, we identify young people’s misconceptions about money and bad financial habits – ultimately breaking down the barriers to independent living and supporting those trapped in debt or struggling with the rising cost of living.
We combine activities, discussions, lots of examples and story sharing. The content of our programmes is flexible to respond to learners’ needs and circumstances.
From working in education in Zimbabwe and Brac in Bangladesh, inspired by Grameen Bank microfinance, and with help from fellow entrepreneurs – the story of MyBnk starts with our founder Lily Lapenna.
Our founder, former CEO and current Chair of Trustees has a background in international development in Africa and Asia. She saw how financial education can unleash potential, giving way to better money skills and self-sufficiency.
Lily returned to London and set about creating a project that would allow young people in the UK to benefit from the same principles. The idea was to use financial services as a practical learning tool, encouraging young people to take the responsibility of helping themselves and the wider community. The central ethos was to get young people involved in all stages of project development and delivery.
Lily met Michael Norton OBE who was the catalyst to make her ideas a reality. Michael has started a wealth of youth led programmes, including the youth led grant scheme YouthBank. Together they created MyBnk.
In 2007 Lily and a group of young people in Tower Hamlets created the first MyBnk-in-a-Box branch. Since then in the UK we have reached 220,000 young people in over 1,000 schools and youth organisations and new programmes are being launched and developed. We have also trained international organisations to deliver our workshops.